Books I loved reading.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

A little update.

In case I intrigued anyone with my purchase of  Textmaker, a few weeks ago I can report that it really is a fine alternative for those whom spending a fortune on a needlessly expensive and bloatedly flatulent word processing package is not an option. I can't be any more enthusiastic than that because it is, after all, just a word processing package and not the Philosophers Stone, but if you want all the stuff that Microsoft Office has but at a fraction of the price then this is the one for you. It also works well on my Android tablet and cost almost nothing.
    I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone. 


    I've begun the edit of my final Old Geezers novel. Writing three novels at the same time is probably the most stupid thing I ever did (after going for a walk on the deck of an aircraft carrier during a force eleven gale), although at least the editing is easier since each one is completely different from the other.  This time my old gits aren't travelling in time but space. I'm going to have a lot of fun with this, and I was going to insert a section but there was so much swearing I didn't want my blog shut down by the profanity police. Perhaps I'll cut it down a little - or not.


Thursday, 20 August 2015

Back to some juvenile fun.

I've just finished the second edit of Three Hoodies 3, a book I finished over two years ago but never got around the publishing.

    I hope it makes people laugh because it makes me giggle, but then I always did have a curious sense of humour. I plan to publish it, along with kongomato3 and Old Geezers 3 at the same time, hopefully later this year.

    Here's a bit. Sad, or Sad-case is one of the characters, named after a friend when I was a child who for some reason was known (even by his parents) as Sad-case.

‘Hah! You hope to save your solar system from certain annihilation. I suspect that you couldn’t even set your video without seeking assistance from the idiots guide. You?’ The computer paused, its smugness almost tangible. And it had that teachers’ voice. The one they put on when they’d just explained something they considered a fundamental truth. Something they’d been learning about in college for years but sprung on you only a few seconds after the beginning of term. ‘So there.’

    Again they all jumped back in panic at the sound and the shape of Derrick leaping furiously towards the computer and delivering several furious kicks and punches which merely served to hurt his fists, but at least achieved the effect of quieting that maddening voice. But clearly not enough violence to assuage his sudden thirst, Derrick then prized the entire computer from the floor, a difficult job it being about the size of a small cupboard. Though it seemed that fury had lent him wings for with a noise reminiscent of innards torn being torn from a live animal, several cables snapped free, writhing about him for a moment as if endowed with life of their own. Then lifting the huge grey box above his head with a strength none of them had ever assumed of their usually docile friend, he tossed the whole thing against the wall where it landed with an impressive bang, a shower of sparks, small puff of smoke and then silence; the whole thing now just a very elaborate but otherwise useless door stop.

     ‘Well that wasn’t very clever, was it?’ Sarah’s quiet tone clearly illustrated her total lack of admiration at their childish behaviour ‘What do you think Gladys is going to do when she finds out what we’ve done to a presumably very expensive computer? What if it’s the one that keeps all the planets from bumping into each other?’

    ‘Don’t care.’ Derrick sniffed mutinously. ‘Don’t need any box of wires telling us we’re a bunch of nob-heads. Sad could do that and he’s only got the brain of a slug.’

    ‘Yeah. Hey, watch it.’

Here's the cover - maybe.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Finally made my decision - and got a birthday present.

I wrote a post recently concerning my observations of differing word processing packages. I also had a birthday. At my advanced age I generally forget such thing as the numbers are growing ever higher. Someone once told me that the older one gets, the faster time progresses. It must be true because only a few weeks ago I was twenty five and now I'm older (or at least feel like it) than Methuselah.

    I thus decided to buy a word processing package because my old XP machine is on its last legs and apparently my (legal )copy of Word 2007 won't work on windows 10 - not that I can buy one yet because all the machines currently on sale are upgraded Win 8.1 machines and the OEM software allowing me to buy a native 10 machine isn't available and won't be for a few months. I can't bear upgrades because there's always rubbish left over from the old operating system and in machines which don't retail with any backup software it's too much of a risk.

    My first encounter with M/S word was version 2 about 1991. (The enormous cost of which was probably for the 1100 page instruction manual)

    I hated it. I hated what came after it as well. So I bought Word Perfect and indeed wrote four novels in WP5 & 5.1. Then Corel bought it and we all know what happened then.

    So, after trying all the free ones, some of which are very good, I finally downloaded and  bought TextMaker 2016 for windows. For £51 I also get a back up disc and free 20gig flash drive (which have still not yet arrived from Germany) and I love it. The interface is a little more primitive but nowhere near as messy as Word with all those stupid style boxes. Better still it comes with Export to EPub and PDF buttons. I'm not going to use them very often but at least they're handy.

    Depending upon where I look or ask MS Office 2016 is anywhere from £89 to £150 and Ill be hanged if I'll pay every year for Office 365.

    I sent a novel I'd created in Word and transferred to TextMaker to a friend the other day (the final test) and it opened without any formatting errors.

   So as far as I'm concerned it's money well spent.

    Now where's my backup CD and flashdrive? I could have walked to Germany and back by now.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Look what the cat dragged in.

I just found this in my writing room. It might be Harley but then again it might not; there are so many different kinds of animals prowling the streets of London these days. I'm afraid to wake him/it up in case it isn't. The last time was a very painful experience.

    I must have been typing too loud because he just woke up, gave me a stern look and immediately sank back into sleep; presumably dreaming of what he's going to eviscerate tonight.

    Next time I want to come back as a moggy.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

I ignored my own cardinal rule

Ever since I bought this, my first word processor about 25 million years ago, I've always backed-up my work.

   It was a cool little machine which I still have somewhere. Unfortunately the RAM is of the volatile kind, which is to say that if the batteries run out or you're not fast enough with the mains plug, it's all gone - forever. A real problem if you forget that the mains plug works on UK 240 volts while the French chalet in which you're working has 120 volt power supply.

    After losing an entire novel in this fashion I've always backed up everything, to the point that whenever I open the door of my writing room an avalanche of flash drives,  3½  &  5¼-inch floppies and old cassette tapes cascade about my head.

    I was recently invited to write a story for a new anthology and for some unknown reason I didn't back it up, so obviously I lost it.

     After many hours I finally discovered some allegedly free recovery software that discovered the missing file but then informed that me that if I wanted it back I'd have to pay. Ten downloads later I found another program which allowed me to locate it but only after scanning (manually) 150,000 gibberish RTF files which then turned into a page of Klingon when I finally got it on the screen.

    Much, much later it was back, and now I've decided that I'm not even going to use it.

    Conclusion - I'm a complete plonker.


Monday, 10 August 2015

I have to erradicate someone.

I hate it when this happens. I spent a couple of days inventing a character; his likes and dislikes, his skills and attitude. And now, on the second edit of my final Kongomato novel I realise that he has to go. Can't be helped. If I keep him in I'm going to confuse people. I'm confused myself pretty much all the time so I hardly even notice anymore. 

   It will also mean rewriting at least thirty pages of the novel. That is exactly what editing is about but I always hate killing off someone I've invented. Perhaps I'll use him again in another novel - after all he's very useful with guns and explosives. And after what he did to the creature on the bridge, I'm hesitant to annoy him too much.

    I might interview him to see how he feels about it. He has quite a dirty mouth so there might be a lot of bleeping.


Finally, a decent car to drive.

It's still hard to believe anyone would allow me to drive a proper car. And anyone who reads my ramblings knows about my opinion of sports cars - especially Ferraris, yet today I got my greasy little paws on something different. 

   Happily prepared to be completely underwhelmed I was pleasantly surprised by the Mclaren.

  But lest you think I'm softening in my old age - I still think the 911 is better.