Wherein the Intrepid Explorer Foils Another Plot by a Dastardly Robot in Second Life

Duck (moderate)

The problem started a couple of days ago. Typically I turn on the computer, go make my coffee and then come back and start my day. For the past two mornings however, when I attempted to open the browser, everything would freeze and I’d have to pull the plug and start again.

Today I was up at 4:30 and went through the normal routine but Windows refused to start. The machine informed me of that (like I hadn’t noticed) and said it was doing some kind of ‘startup repair’. Actually to be specific, it said it was “attempting repairs”. I didn’t consider that adequate – I expect it to be fixed. Don’t give me that “I’ll do my best” nonsense, just get it done.

The attempts failed. The screen informed me that I had most probably attached some new, unacceptable hardware and that I should contact my system administrator. Well firstly I haven’t attached anything and secondly I AM THE SYSTEM ADMINISTRATOR.

I tried powering off and windows still hung up. The next time it tried to tell me it was “attempting” something I clicked a few buttons and it went to a memory test. Don’t ask me why – the logic escapes me. I waited it out and watched the clock, by now it was 5:30. I have a lot of work↑ to do – I don’t have time for this.

While this was going on I tried to think of what might have caused the problem and realized the only difference in my machine for the past couple of days is that I had installed Skype. I have all the start menu stuff turned off but Skype was still opening automatically because I hadn’t gotten around to telling it not to. My plan was to wait out the memory test and then when it failed again I would try “safe mode” and see if I could address the problem.

The memory test didn’t find anything (of course) but instead of restarting the computer it just started Windows (wait, I thought that was broken, you told me it was broken). This time Windows loaded (why? you said it was broken and you couldn’t fix it!). I turned off Skype in msconfig and restarted just fine, thank you.

What does this have to do with a rusted tin can? Well, I loaded Skype so I could meet with Saffia↑, Daniel↑ and (*$)%&&#^) Crap↑. The first two are kind, considerate and far too innocent to cause me harm. Crap on the other hand is evil. So it’s his fault.

I’ll teach him to mess with me.

 

Mourning in Second Life

Kev Sweetwater

I’m sure you’ve heard the news↑. I’m still trying to process it (without much success so far). One of his passions was Burning Man/Burn2. There will be a remembrance and celebration of his life and contributions tonight on the playa↑ from, I believe, 6 pm SLT to 9 pm SLT.  They will be burning the Temple in his honour↑ which is very fitting.

I can’t do my bleeding in public and won’t make it. He knew that about me and would, I think, understand. What I do plan to do is send something to the Burning Man Temple this September and I will watch it be consumed by flames online. I loved the guy and, with any luck, by then I’ll be able to say goodbye.

I’m glad he found Char and I’m comforted that he knew he was loved but he should have had 50 or 60 more years. Some day I’ll come to terms with that.

He read my blog everyday (as he kept reminding me) so this will be the first post he doesn’t read. I wish it was one I didn’t have to write.

The Brave New World of Bots & Second Life

I’ve been distracted lately by the exigencies of the physical world – specifically renovating and remodelling the garden. I keep wishing I could just point and click to get things done but of course technology hasn’t arrived in that sphere as of yet. Luckily for me there are nephews available so I just point and “request”.

I don’t believe that automating everything is the ideal, there are occasions when sentient life forms are of value – with or without avatars.

I grab whatever moments I can to go online and putter but haven’t had extended periods to actually accomplish anything. One thing I did try to do was take care of something that’s been on my to do list for months – I had not yet put this new blog location on Techorati↑ and it seemed silly to leave the old one there.

The “claiming” process is a bit lengthy and involved but I went through it and waited for the final confirmation.  Imagine my surprise when the review was completed and I was informed that this is not a blog. The brilliant automated bot informed me that they don’t accept forums or store sites so my little bit of internet rambling wasn’t accepted. I’ve become accustomed over the years to processes that are more complicated and error prone than necessary.

We used to say that you automate things that are “mechanical” but in those areas where humans add value you don’t. This principle is often abandoned both for cost savings and because of a belief that code can do anything.

Unfortunately for me the support system at Technorati doesn’t let me just ask somebody to review their bot’s decision. Apparently I would have to create a question and use it to start a new issue on the forum which is not what I want to do. I guess I’ll just live with the knowledge that, whatever I might think, this is not a “blog”.

You know I’ve accepted the fact that the days of 3 choices of toothpaste is long gone. The world apparently needs hundreds of different kinds. I can live happily with tv remotes rather than having to get up and cross the room and turn a dial to change the channel. Every now and then, however, I find the lack of actual human involvement in life’s processes to be a pain in the ass.

I comfort myself with the thought that inworld it doesn’t matter what shape the avatar – I’m dealing with an actual person. This will change I guess with pathfinding. Damn those robots – until they make themselves really useful (like digging up that tree and moving it to the other side of my yard) I am going to have difficulty embracing this brave new world.

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