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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Have Not Been Lazy – I Have Just Been Busy. Really!

I can’t believe it has been almost 3 weeks since my last blog post. Things sometimes have a habit of piling up unexpectedly in my life, and this has been one of those weird periods when a bunch of things came together and derailed all my efforts to put more stuff up on my blog.

The most important thing that happened was that I decided that I wanted to finish cataloging my entire collection of digital books within the next few weeks. I have been involved in this activity on and off for the past year or so, and my slow pace combined with a penchant for downloading more books off the internet made it seem like I was barely staying in place. In fact, at several times of the year, the backlog was bigger than what I started the week with.

So, I put a halt to all downloading, and I have decided not to acquire any more digital books until I was done putting what I had into my database. The only way I was going to take advantage of all the digital books was if I could search and find what I wanted when I wanted it. And the only way to do that was to keep everything cataloged in my database. So, I started devoting every free minute I had to the digital book catalog. Thanks to these diligent efforts, I have entered about 500 books into my catalog in the past few weeks. I still have about 500 to 1000 left to enter, but at this rate, maybe I will be done within a month or so. After that, all I have to do is make sure I keep up with my rate of acquisition!

The second thing that happened was that I got a new computer. I was managing with my old computer and its inadequate amount of disk space by juggling stuff between the computer and external hard drives. But Dell had an excellent sale on Inspiron 15R laptops over the President’s day weekend, and I got a chance to pick up a powerful Intel Core I3-based computer with 500 GB of hard disk space for under $450.

It was just too tempting for me to let go. I might have to wait till the end of the year to see prices like that on equivalent hardware, so I jumped on it. And after that computer was delivered, I have been busy setting the beast up. I have been used to Windows XP for the past 7 or 8 years, and this new computer came with Windows 7 64-bit. I know my way around the XP operating system and can navigate it blind, but Windows 7 threw a few curveballs at me that took some research and searching on the internet to figure out.

MazeI like my computers set up just so. The desktop arranged in a particular way. The folders and files arranged in a particular way. A particular set of software installed and ready to use, and so on. All this takes time on a new computer. Throw in a new operating system, and the process took much longer than I expected. The new computer is finally set up and I have started using it instead of my old computer. But I am still spending time on the internet researching obscure issues that crop up (for instance, one of my file types did not have any icons associated with it. This is a simple problem to fix on Windows XP, but apparently, not so easy to fix on Windows 7 unless you use third party software or dive into the innards of the windows registry).

So, finally, I decided that it was time to take a breather, and put up an explanation for the lack of posts on my blog before plunging back into stuff that needs to get done. I still owe my readers a review of the new snowblower I bought (though, by the time I put it up, only readers in Antarctica might need it!). I also need to put up new posts on Vedic Mathematics and Microsoft Access. And I have the beginnings of a review of the new computer in my mind too. All of this will come out soon, though at this time, I can not promise any timeline for all of this. I am hoping for at least one post every week, but things could get hairy without warning.

Just like in the previous post, I am including another maze in this post, courtesy of my daughter. I have not had the time to prepare a full crossword puzzle for my blog yet. I have a few filled-in crossword puzzles, but I don’t have the clues prepared yet. Maybe next time. While I was away from my blog for the past 3 weeks, readers from exotic countries have not been so remiss: since my last update, I have had visitors from one new country on my blog. That visitor was from Kyrgyzstan. Talk about exotic! With this addition, I now have 167 flags in my flagcounter.

Now, it is time for me to wrap this up and get back to other work. I have work to do at work, work to do at home, and seemingly, work to do in between also. I know, all work and no play makes me dull, but hopefully, I will be able to finish all this up, and get back to more playing soon. Wish me luck, and ciao!

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