This last week was a fairly productive one, though not always in ways I expected. I didn't have any real plans for the week, which always makes me feel like I'm floating in a tub, but given the project at work, it was for the best. (I don't think I have enough commas in that previous sentence.)

Writing

I had no writing goals this week. I ended up doing a few hours of relaxing writing (e.g., writing without a goal in mind) on Saturday, which was fantastic. Other than that, I didn't do much.

I did submit two chapters of Sand and Love to the writing group. It seemed fairly positive, though I still have a lot of work with one of the chapters (the one I inserted for the plot).

Jekyll verses DocPad

Yesterday, I converted one of my secondary sites from DocPad to Jekyll. It wasn't on a lark, but a hope that it would take less CPU and heat to generate the site. And, thankfully, it did. This is a 500+ page site and whenever DocPad ran through it, my laptop would heat up for six minutes while it ran. The Jekyll version is about two minutes and didn't overheat the machine.

I wasn't really using the things DocPad excelled at. I use templates, but I also prefer to pre-process my files in other languages (Perl, typically). So, I was giving both versions complete versions.

I did abstract and polish up some of those utilities and threw them on GitHub. They are pretty rough, but eventually I'm planning on leading into a wiki-like generator that takes Markdown files and generates a website with good quality taxonomies.

And since I'm trying to focus my tasks on writing, the wiki-like is going to eventually be the encyclopedia site for my fantasy world.

Map

Speaking of encyclopedia sites, I spent most of my lunch breaks starting to work on the map of Fedran, my fantasy world. It's going to take a few weeks to complete, but I really want to make sure that the events in my novels actually make sense.

I made a mistake by creating speedsters. They can cover so much distance that 1,000 miles isn't that far. Since I want to finish Sand and Blood this year (again), this is one more thing toward that goal.

Raspberry Pi

For the holidays, my mother got me a Raspberry Pi. It was such a tiny little thing, too. There are a few things I want to do with it, but the first one was to create a wireless access point for the far side of the house. This ended up being a remarkably hard thing to do. Apparently the Pi's default settings resists bridging two networks as opposed to creating an entirely separate network for that side of the house.

I'm not entirely sure if this will work, though, but I'm hoping. I'm using the same ESSID on both sides of the house but with different channels. In theory, from my reading, this means that devices will switched access points depending on which one is stronger.

ownCloud

Last week, I was excited to notice that ownCloud had a synchronization client for Linux and Windows. It promised to give me something like Dropbox, but with me controlling the end and without as much advertising.

Overall, a week of using it has not been unpleasant. There are some quirks about the clients I dislike. The biggest is having to enter the password every time I reboot since I picked a "secure" password (it looks like line noise). It also doesn't have a Javascript API, which means I can't migrate my TODO file over quite yet.

I've been pretty happy with it so far. I know Dropbox is an awesome company in general, I like open-source software, I like being in control of my networks, and I don't like the pyramid scheme of advertising ("refer your friends, get more space"). I already know they use Amazon's S3 for their filesharing, but I'd rather pay a monthly amount and get advertisement- and nag-free.

Cleaning

Oh, it never ends. Three hours on Sunday, but it meant that the rest of the days was very pleasant. :)

Exercising

Last year was a bad year for my health. As much as I want to say otherwise, it was. Last Wednesday, part of the effort to correct that showed up in the form of a brand new elliptical machine. And a co-worker happened to be getting rid of their flat-screen TV and I happened to get a Raspberry Pi to create a wireless network for the Roku. So, I have a workout room. And a nice TV for a distraction.

Though, the captioning on the Roku 2 still sucks. (Though, I saw something that said they were finally letting users pick caption colors. Please, please let there also be outlines.)

SMWM's current plan is to force me to work out at least twenty minutes every day. If I don't do it cleaning or walking or going to the gym, I'm going to be sent down to the basement. As much as I'm going to hate it, I'm probably going to like it in the long run.

2014-01-20