Upgrading

I think I just turned myself into a monster — for technology.

I don’t have wifi in my apartment. I mean, my apartment is small, the cord to my internet connection is extra-long, and I tend to sit in my comfy chair in the living room next to the cable outlet anyway when I’m working on the laptop. Why would I need wifi?

So I can work on my book while sitting in bed. (Okay, I’ll be honest. So I can work on my book for a bit and then watch Netflix while sitting in bed.)

Over the weekend, I went shopping for the necessary hardware, and being me, I spent a day researching and asking the pros for advice, before using up another day checking out the best price. And that’s when the bug bit.

While making my purchase, I happened to look over at a display and realized that prices for external hard drives have really dropped. I picked up a 3T one — trust me, between movies, music, books, fanfics and story ideas, I’m going to fill it up quickly.

Walking to the checkout counter, I passed the printers. Now, my laser printer is still working well — but the scanner is older and let’s just say it doesn’t play well with Windows 7. No, I didn’t buy one right then and there; at the time, there was no way to carry it all home with me. But I’m currently doing the research thing — I want a color laser multifunction with a flatbed scanner and possible two-sided printing, and I’d prefer it for less than $400. Still looking.

And in the course of looking — well, let’s see, so far I’ve pegged a new Roku, a blu-ray player (legitimately need one as mine was fried courtesy of a lightening storm), and a new TV to replace the extremely-elderly one whose picture is clearly going — the detectives on Law and Order UK intermitently have green faces.

All of which will need to be interconnected with the turntable, speakers, DVD carousel player (for movie marathons), DVD recorder, and iPod dock.

Oh, and with my laptop as well. The laptop that, over the weekend, acquired upgraded RAM, a new 1T hard drive, a spare battery and is now awaiting installation of some new programs.

All I wanted was a wifi connection . . . and that’s what I’ve been up to for the last few days.

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Real Life — Online

I either have accounts at too many websites — or I need to accept that my real life is online.

While passing through a hotel lobby this week, I caught the tail-end of a discussion between a couple over their online activities. Basically, the guy was informing the girl that she spent more time on Facebook and Twitter than talking to him.

Which made me think about my online activities — and the more I thought, the more — surprised — I became.

I am registered, have accounts and/or am participating on a lot of websites. Within twenty minutes, I’d listed: WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Livejournal, LinkedIn, Marvel, Deviantarts, Fanfiction.net, Archive of our own, Rebelscum, Pinterest, Netflix, Hulu, HBOgo, Nanowrimo, CNET, 2 library websites, 3 knitting sites, a number of Yahoo groups, and at least five more Star Wars sites, not to mention all the shopping sites like Amazon and Etsy and eBay and specialty stores. Plus I have various emails used for work, professional relationships, shopping and/or entertainment.

In short, I’m listed in a lot of places, but the real question, I soon realized, was whether I spent any time on them. And the answer, for some, was very little.

I rarely update my Facebook. I created an account there when I first went to a Marillion Weekend, so that I could keep track of fellow fans, but while I try to read their updates, I scarcely have any of my own to include.

I don’t think I’ve ever posted anything on Pinterest or Deviantarts. I post the same things (like fan fiction) on the same fic sites, but at different times and as I can get to the posting. The more I thought about all these accounts, the more I realized that, if I’m spending all that time keeping up with them, how can I have any time to get my physical life back in order and on track?

In other words, what value does my participation on these sites add to my life? And from there, it was a short step to the realization that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t need to be on all these sites.

At the very least, I could streamline my access and participation and perhaps free up some time to live more in the real world. I can cross-post my entries onto various blogs, simultaneously post my fics at all sites. Cut out the sites I don’t really visit anymore — like Yahoo groups that have degenerated into namecalling or are all but moribund but for the postings from spammers.

By doing that, I can focus my attention on the places that really add value to my life. WordPress, from which I can cross-post to Livejournal. AO3 for my fics. Tumblr and Twitter (I really need to tweet more.). I just need to plan it out and make some decisions.

It’s something I’ll be doing this weekend, as I pull apart my laptop and do some upgrades. I also realized, while streaming a movie in the hotel room, that I desperately need a bigger hard drive. Fortunately drives are both inexpensive to buy and idiot-proof to install. Once I do that, I can redo the layout here and on my Tumblr, and be better organized.

I hope. Assuming the upgrades go smoothly.

Now, being exhausted from trip one and needing to be ready for trip two tomorrow, I’m toddling off to bed . . .

The app doesn’t love me anymore . . .

Apparently, the WordPress app for my smartphone doesn’t love me anymore.

I’ve been using it to post for the last week, but there seems to have been some sort of disconnect. I wrote out entries, hit post and — it looked like it went through, but in reality, it was an epic fail. Which I didn’t know until I checked WordPress on my laptop.

For whatever reason, the app won’t seem to send the correct password to upload an entry. Now, I could fix this in one of two ways:

1) obsess for a week over what’s going wrong, trying various fixes; or

2) reload the app.

Guess which one I’m going with?

Meanwhile I’m just going to repost the last few entries. In one big batch.