The Geek Spot
Monday, September 26, 2005
  What I am reading
Note: I started writing this entry on Sept 20, I finished it on Sept 26. So you are getting a super entry. Enjoy.

I just finished reading two books.

The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I am currently reading, Pandora's Star by Peter Hamiliton

I have read The Caves of Steel about a go-zillion times. I love it. I am going to post some fan-fiction that occurs in that universe. One of these days.

The Caves of Steel is this detective story that happens in the future of the planet Earth. In this version of the future, people have taken to living in large, enclosed cities. People don't go outside, the entire society is quite agoraphobic. In the recent past, colonists have set out from Earth to colonize other planets, the spacers. Spacers and Earth-people do not get along, for many reasons. The people on Earth also have this mob-culture mentality. They are all ranked in a socio-economic way depending on their job. They also inherit status from their parents. People eat in large cafeterias, and share public facilities. I get the idea that the apartments are analogous to a dorm room. You don't really learn much about the spacers, but you do know that they live in the open, are much more technologically advanced, and practice some pretty extreme eugenics. They also have robots (as this is the first novel in the robot books), and obviously they all come from other worlds that people from Earth settled "long" ago. They have robots because they have a low birth rate (due to the Eugenics), and they need the extra labor. They don't need the extra labor back on Earth, so the Earth people resent the robot labor-force. I think SS may have borrowed a lot of this public opinion for his movie, AI.

I won't go into the actual plot of the book, but it is very interesting. It is not my favorite robot book. I really like I, Robot better. On a different tack, I saw the movie. I actually liked the movie. Why? As you know, I am not a fan of the "hollywood-ization" of good sci-fi. It usually just turns out bad, with the true die-hard fans lamenting the loss of the story, and the rest of the viewing public not quite "getting it". I, Robot (the movie) was different enough from any of the short stories that it was good enough to stand alone. It also benefited from a very good leading actor, and very good supporting cast as well.

I know I have read the other two robot novels, but I can't remember them so well, either. I will have to go back and re-read those as well.

I just heard about Ender's game from my friends over at The Dragon Page. I listen to a lot of their podcasts, and they were having a discussion with Orson Scott Card. I thought it sounded interesting, and when I went to the library, there it was. I also liked this book, a lot. If you have read, Halo, The Fall of Reach, you will notice some similarity in the two books. Basically they are taking children, and putting them through some very un-childlike actions to mold them into super-soldiers.

I really don't want to say more, because a lot of it will spoil the plot of the book, but it is a very good book and really gets you thinking. As a parent of a very young child, reading these kinds of books really makes me think about the capabilities of my own child.

Pandora's star. I am still reading this. I'll post a review as soon as I am finished.

Also, keep on the lookout for Ask the Chemist. I am a chemist and sometimes I get pretty agitated when I read or see something in the news that is PLAIN WRONG, so I will start this forum as a way to answer questions sent to me, or correct these wrong things. This will occur once a week. Stay tuned.
Friday, September 09, 2005
Specifically, MEPIS 3.3.1.

I have already discussed the situation leading up to my decision to convert over to Linux in my personal, at home, just screwing around, POS laptop. It's on my other blog here.

I haven't received the disk yet, but I already know I am going to have problems. It's because of my secret power. Yes, I have a secret power. The power to f*** up electronics.

We have a wireless network at home. Yes, it is secure and encrypted. I also have USB driven devices that I would like to work, specifically, my IPOD, digital camera, PDA, and external CD burner. I am already worried that these will not function. Already. Please, no comments form the peanut gallery along the lines of: "buy a new computer already", because if you had read the other post like I asked you too, you would see that buying a new computer isn't in the stars for some time.

Why do computer/software geeks have to make up their own language? Why can't you just call it by what it is, instead of making up a new word? I am arming myself with knowledge, so that when my MEPIS disk finally arrives, I can (hopefully) install it and get most of my hardware up and running. I realize that the Netgear wireless card, coupled with the Linksys/Westell DSL system is problematic. So I go here, and most of it makes sense, but what the f*** is a CHIPSET? This one is even worse, and it is meant to tell me how to do all this crap. Yes, I am a geek but unlike the majority of folk out there believe, not all geeks understand computers. Sheesh.

I'll just have to wait and keep you updated on my progress.

Please let me know if anyone has any cool links to Linux programs, specifically for:
1. Podcasters
2. Games
3. Syncing software for my Dell Axim
4. Anything else
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
  Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite books. So much so, that I purchased a special leather bound edition of all four installments. Yes, it is true.

I also happen to be a book purist, and I usually detest when movies are made from books, especially if they are my favorite books. As a direct result, I have not seen the movie adaptation. I have not heard a lot of buzz, either yay or nay, about it so I must conclude that is was an average movie. So if you have seen the movie and you have comments, please leave me a comment or drop me an e-mail.

The thing that really got me started thiking about about THGG was the Cricket tournament. Recall that lovely scene in Life, the Universe and Everything when Arthur and Ford are transported to Lord's on a chesterfield sofa during the final minutes of the championship cricket match, and they meet Slartibartfast there, then the Krikkit robots descend, steal the ashes (the silver bail), kill people and leave. Well, England is currently playing Australia for the ashes right now, and Jason is English so he pays attention to such. Of course I had to bring up the Krikkit robots and I told him that if England won the tournament, then maybe the Krikkit robots would come and take the ashes.

Jason thinks I am mad.

This is the world I live in. I listen to this podcast, Geek Fu Action Grip and the host there, who's name is Mur, was talking awhile back about how she always dresses comfortably because she nevers knows when she will be transported to an alternate or an entirely different world.

I think in the corner of my mind (ruled by madness, perhaps) that if England wins the match, the Krikkit robots will appear. Well, I'm sure if it happens we will all know about it.

I had intended to write a much longer first entry, and tell you all of my plans, but I will have to do that later. Maybe this weekend. I really do have some cool news I want to share with you all.

Keep it real.
This is my totally geeky blog. I will be giving updates on all my sci-fi related gossip, the latest and coolest podcasts I have discovered, where my writing is at, and a whole lot more.

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