In Which Mechante Arrives

29 June 2004

I’m writing this from my new computer, which arrived yesterday just after I posted my entry and pictures. (Did you see the pictures? Go back and see the pictures.) I don’t have everything quite the way I want it yet – for example, the default set of colors is black on white, when I want my default to be white on black. The computer is black with white and grey lettering, but the programs haven’t yet been adjusted to that default.

The new computer, Mechante, is faster than the old. A lot faster. It goes zoom. (Mark thinks it’s too slow still, but whatever; we don’t pay for me to have as fast a computer as Mark has, because that would be stupid.) It came with a new keyboard, which has the letters on the keys still. Imagine the luxury: letters on the keys! (I may still go back to the old keyboard: this one has no wrist rest and is a bit stiff. I’m sure the latter problem will wear off, though.) Now we can know the exact date when I started using this keyboard and can note when the letters start to go. If we remember. Where “we” is me. Hmm. Not such a great plan, maybe.

I finished reading The Dragon Waiting while Mark installed some stuff on Mechante, and I was very happy with it. Historical fantasy as it ought to be done, I think. It was done almost as if it was other-world fantasy in terms of how many historically important figures appeared and how they appeared. There was Arlo Guthrie (I mean, Lorenzo di Medici, but have you ever seen them in the same place at the same time?) and Richard III and several other related figures, but there wasn’t the wink-wink nudge-nudge looky-it’s-that guy that you sometimes get in an historical fantasy or alternate history. I know some people love those references, but they drive me up a wall.

Of course, I only had one cameo in the Not The Moose Book when it was a book, and now that it’s a trilogy, the cameo’s cut. No Linus appearance. I’m sure you’ll all live. The nice thing about being a Finnophile is that there are very few people anyone thinks you ought to have showing up, because they’ve never heard of them. Alvar Aalto, maybe, if they’re architecture geeks, or old Sibelius if they’re that kind of orchestral music geeks. Paavo Nurmi if they’re track geeks. And Linus, of course. Not so many for an entire country. There’ll be a few historical personages, but not the kind who are famous famous.

I’m now reading Festival Fever: Finland Festivals, by Kaija and Markku Valkonen, which is research for what I’m doing now with Sampo and Thermionic Night, but mostly for Midnight Sun Rising later. When I can’t take notes, I’m reading Christopher Fry’s “A Sleep of Prisoners,” borrowed from Pamela. Language-playful as usual, and topic-serious.

And I worked on Sampo on the new computer, which doesn’t make dire whining noises and doesn’t make me afraid it will crash and eat my book. This is such an improvement, I can hardly begin to tell you. Makes it so much easier to work when you’re not listening for a hard screeching scratch that means it’s all gone boom. (I have backups, both onsite and offsite. Still.) So it’s time for more of that before I go off running errands.

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