Monday, September 06, 2010


Wednesday 1st

A month ago Macmillan sent me the edited typescript of The Departure to go through. Precisely at that time the Greek tanker drivers went on strike to protest about their closed shop itself being closed down. The result of this was a petrol shortage and that typescript ending up in some DHL store room at this end. DHL, in its wisdom, then send it back to Britain, claiming that my address here didn’t exist, which is odd considering how they’ve brought stuff here before and how everything that comes via the post also arrives here. Macmillan then used airmail and at last this well-travelled typescript has arrived. So, no more work on Zero Point, no more word counts until I get this turned around.

Thursday 2nd

Okay, the laptop nearly took a short flight off the front terrace. After receiving the typescript the day before yesterday, we went down for our ‘Internet day’. During our short time on the Internet my laptop acquired an update or two. Fair enough. Yesterday I sat down to get on with some editing, but my laptop wanted to apply these updates. I kept putting it off and at one point applied the maximum delay of four hours. At 2 o’clock after I had worked through the editing for six hours, it suddenly decided to apply the updates without asking my permission. Word blinked off, everything blinked off, the updates were applied and the laptop then turned itself off then back on again. Now despite the autosave loading bar operating every ten minutes while I was working, everything I’d done in the previous six hours was gone. I lost the fucking lot. Nothing in autorecovery, nothing to be found anywhere. Somehow, the delayed updates prevented autosave/autorecovery from working. If a Microsoft salesman had been to hand he would have received a laptop suppository. I was fucking livid!

Eleven hours of editing today to try and catch up a bit. This got me to page 93 of 446, and now my neck is as stiff as granite.


vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

killtech. fuk. would wish this happened to Danielle Steele more often. daily.

Jebel Krong said...

ouch. word to the wise: either apply updates first, or disable auto-updates and turn the computer off and back on first - then you will have no problem.

Duracell said...

You should consider Linux.

It simply works. Reliably. All of the time. And it is free.

Something like Linux Mint 9 is very easy and straightforward to set up as a dual boot.

I recently set up Mint 9 as a dual boot on a 5 year old laptop running XP Pro. It took less than 30 minutes, and required no prior knowledge. Everything worked first time - Bluetooth driver, Wi-Fi, mobile broadband etc.

Now when I turn on the laptop I can choose to boot into Mint and be fully up and running and browsing the web in under a minute, be able to access all of the content on my Windows partition using free versions of my Windows programs (e.g. Open Office for Word and Excel etc), and when I choose to shut down the laptop it takes less than 10 seconds. I can access my work network over a VPN, and take remote control of my Windows PCs there. Patching is still available, but you are in control of everything i.e. you, and not your OS or apps, choose whether or not to patch. Everything (OS and programs) can be patched from the same program at the same time, and it is a very quick process (usually taking less than 20 seconds for everything) that does NOT require rebooting.

But if I wish to annoy myself, I can still choose to boot into XP and have to wait for at least 15 minutes for all the bloatware to settle down, assuming of course that no restarts are required after my anti-virus, adobe, flash player etc. etc. ad nauseum have all updated and patched themselves.

P.S. After reading your comments on the sleeve of one of Tony Ballantyne's Penrose novels, and after receiving a few recommendations from Amazon (based on my other Amazon purchases) to buy some of your books, I decided to give Prador Moon a go. That was back in February. Since then I have bought, read and thoroughly enjoyed your utterly excellent entire back catalogue from Amazon. At the moment I am nearing the end of The Technician, and I am now beginning to deal with the harsh reality that for the first time in 7 months I do not have another Asher book lined up to read next! Good work Mr. Asher - Thank you for the Polity!

Brian said...

Your problem with Windows Vista is shared with tons of people all over the world. All saying, they worked on something and with no warning, restarting, appling new updated and all work gone; fantastic good job. In reality, get another windows version, go for ver 7.

Neal Asher said...

I don't know whether you know this, Vaude, but you don't have to read them.

Yeah, I know that now, Jebel.

Duracell, yes, I'll certainly look into that. Windows is irritating.

Brain, I have got 7.

bhhenry said...

You can disable the automatic reboot and nagging with a registry tweak. Try the second tip on this page: