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I’m at the library today, trying to do my stuff on a high-speed connection…and there’s something wonky with the library’s connection–keeps dropping. Sometimes, you just caint win fer losin. *sigh*

Okay, but I fixed my connection on my home computer. Here are some things I learned about troubleshooting on Linux.

Nobody at any help desk (other than a Linux help desk) has done more than heard a vague rumor of Linux, and then they think it’s some kind of high-level foreign car.

If somebody says to you, “Let’s delete your connection and create a new one,” say, “I’ll get back to you.” Then WRITE DOWN ALL YOUR SETTINGS. Saves a lot of hair-pulling.

See, first I couldn’t figure out how to remind my connection manager that I have a pulse phone and not a touch-tone phone. Then my friend T looked online for me while I clung, weeping, to the phone. She read me some discussion, and something clicked. The initialization string, in case you’re wondering, has to be ATZ and the dial string has to be ATDP for pulse and ATDT for tone. So now you know.

Then, my connection was too slow to do much of anything. Charlie’s, using the same computer, was FAST. I finally realized it was a setting problem (did I tell you this already?). Anyway, check the connection settings to make sure the modem is set to same speed as the connection, so the lines don’t get data in their throats and choke on it. It’s hard to do CPR on a virtual chest. I guess you could do the Heinlein Maneuver….

Anyway, here is a proof that my husband loves me: a path he shoveled from our front door to my mother’s front door, so I could walk up and visit with her. 🙂

Happy Valentine’s day tomorrow to all!

Me, I’m about half-past ready for Spring.


writing prompt: Have a character show love for another character in a non-“traditional” way.

I’m at Magdalena’s today, trying to get a couple of high-speed things done. Trouble is, the connection is high speed, but my brain is still 2400 bps.

One thing I’m trying to do is download Damn Small Linux and I can’t find the name of the file I’m supposed to download. The instruction page says I want dslXXXX.iso and there are several files that fit that. Also says I need to download this and that in Windows to run the md5checksum. I’m like–Damn it, Jim, I’m a writer, not a computer tech!

I’m also trying to transfer my pro-site to a blog-type presentation, and the difference between the old html code I used to build my site and the css code the blog wants makes the transfer a long and painstaking process. That’s why I haven’t done any more with sprucing up my site than I have. I don’t like pains. If I wanted more pain, I’d have had more kids.

Third project underway… well, third, fourth, fifth and on… actually WRITING some stuff and submitting it. I submitted a query on a cozy mystery yesterday and am waiting to hear if the publisher wants to see more. Cross your fingers for me!


Writing prompt: Take five books you love. Copy the first paragraph of each on a separate piece of paper and then write about how that first paragraph drew you in, why it did, how it led to the rest of the story and how it tied in with the end.

Long time, no post. That’s because after I successfully installed and configured Linux Mandriva 2008 for myself and my husband, and after I took the case to the house of a friend with high speed internet so I could download all the updates and bug fixes, I… I… well, I was uninstalling programs we don’t use and I… I nuked a bunch of the files that make the OS run. I even nuked something that makes it possible to reinstall important programs. So there was nothing to do but to reinstall and take the case over to the friend’s again and download the updates and fixes…again. What a maroon.

And did I learn anything? Probably not. My next busy-bee project is to figure out how to include a Windows drive in the configuration. I may be making another trip to my friend’s yet. Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

In other “news”, we’re snowed in AGAIN. No freezing rain this time, but over 12 inches of snow. The roads are in good shape, even our back country roads, but our driveway is 1000 feet of snow-packed gravel. Church was canceled, so here I am writing on my blog while the laundry dries. Ah, life is a constant whirl of incident and excitement.

I just read somebody else’s blog
so I had to be all monkey-see/monkey-do and post to my own.

I’m all full of myself because I bought the 2008 Linux Power-Pack and installed it myself. Well, sort of myself–I had a couple of other more experienced Linux users to call on for help. But MOSTLY I did it myself. Honest. So now I feel like a steely-eyed missile man, deserving of the Pocket Protector of Honor.

We’re finally thawing out from under our latest onslaught of freezing rain. My mother’s biggest holly bush bit the dust, snapped at the trunk under the weight of the ice on its leaves. It’s already sprouting out from the stump, though, so she may have her bush back by next winter. A tree went over, leaning at a 45 degree angle across the driveway, so that was exciting, but my husband cut it down. There goes my last cheap thrill.

I’ve been wrestling with installing a printer, and the printer has won.  I’m running Linux Mandriva 2006 and my old printer died, so I bought a new all-in-one.  I researched it first, and learned that it’s compatible and well-supported by hp and the Linux community.  Downloaded the driver.  Downloaded the dependency packages, all of which took about eight hours over my dial-up connection.  And the installation failed.

So now I’ve bought Linux Mandriva 2008 and hope that the driver for my printer is in there.  Please don’t tell me that nobody should run Linux unless they know what they’re doing–please don’t.  If I only did things I know how to do, I never would do anything.  At least this program comes with a manual.  I only hope it doesn’t start out assuming I know things I don’t know.  Linux for Dummies, that’s what I need.

Meanwhile, I installed a driver for some other printer, and my printer prints and copies, but it won’t scan.  Two out of three is better than nothing, I suppose.

I also made a meatless loaf for supper and it was very good, except that I seem to have gotten a bit of walnut shell into it along with the walnuts, so it’s rather like eating real meatloaf complete with chips of bone.  Ugh.

I’m not vegetarian, by the way, just prefer slabs to mince and bones I can see and remove before they make it into my mouth.


Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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