The episode that wasn’t

It’s an interesting story, surely. It has all the elements a good story needs – technology, a baseball bat, beer, and lingerie. But… it belongs elsewhere. So hopefully by providing the previous lurid tease I can leave it behind and get back to the business at hand. And in November, uninformed political raving is replaced by NaNoWriMo as the Single Most Tedious Blog Subject.

So let’s talk about NaNoWriMo, shall we? How many others out there have trained their spelling checkers to recognize this word? Today I haven’t been as prolific (yet), but I still managed to cross 10K here on day three. The story is just plain writing itself. I’m not one of those writers who just rambles on and lets characters surprise them with their behavior (well, if you don’t count the eels); I’ve got plans for these folks. But things are coming together nicely. My biggest concern is that the wisdom of some of the people is showing too early, while they’re just supposed to be caricatures. But that’s a rich man’s problem. There is wisdom.

It is not laugh-a-minute funny, but (if you ask me) it is coming out nicely. It’s that half-smile nudge-nudge funny. I only have to sustain it for 27 more days.

Enough of that. On a less happy note, there are a bazillion NaNoWriMo folks using Jer’s Novel Writer, and there’s a bug. People have lost work. The bug has been lying dormant for a while, but wouldn’t you know it? It’s in the word count feature. Suddenly, in November, people are very, very interested in their word count.

I got a rather irate message from some guy about losing a whole night’s work. It’s bad, and I’m not trying to duck out on folks who have a lot going on, but who the hell uses beta software all night without hitting save once? Maybe because I am often using very dodgy versions of the software I’m more save-conscious, but I’ve been a saver from way back. I just don’t trust these damn machines. You have backed up your work recently, haven’t you?

Happily, earlier today I finally found the problem. I had seen the evidence before, but tonight I turned my thinking ninety degrees and saw the answer. Tomorrow I will release a better version of the software. Meanwhile I’m sure there are posts all over the place warning people away from JNW. I can’t blame them. Once I discovered the problem, I posted warnings myself. Still, there’s a black eye there to overcome.

And finally, as we’re cleaning up the odds and ends, I must tell you that the Non-Stop Snack Bar is really the Herna Snack Bar. It doesn’t say Non-Stop anywhere on it. I’m just so accustomed to associating Herna (casino) with Non-Stop that I never looked twice. I have visited that place again three times, and on none of those occasions was Hanka working. I had hopes for tonight, since the last time I saw her was on a Thursday, but no. Last Thursday, however, was a holiday weekend eve, and Pavel did mention something about coming in on Fridays. Maybe tomorrow…

6 thoughts on “The episode that wasn’t

  1. I was equally sympathetic to both sides, mainly to the guy who lost a whole night’s work. As a consumer, I’m often peeved at companies and their products, but I know Jer, and I know he is sincere and really wants to make a good product for people; if Google needed a role model for their business plan of “do no evil,” Jer could be it. So I was sympathetic to Jer as well. Then I got to the part about how can someone work all night and not hit the save button once, and bam! the needle-du-sympathie swung all the way to Jer’s corner. Mr. Irate-JNW-user earned that loss.
    However, I see a business opportunity here: a stand alone applet that any company could bundle with their betaware; it would basically be a little alarm clock icon that would pop up after an hour of no-saves, and say, “Hey schmuck, you’ve been using betaware for an hour and haven’t hit the save button once. Care to explain?”

  2. Apple has built in a behind-the-scenes automatic save – it doesn’t bother you until something goes wrong. It’s better than the old auto-save features because there are times I don’t want to save until I’m sure I want to keep my changes.

    Unfortunately my customers on older versions of the MacOS would not be able to use that feature. Still, that’s on the to-do list.

    The other thing is an indicator that gradually fades in as time goes by between saves. It’s got a nice slick factor as well.

  3. How about a behind-the-scenes automatic save that doesn’t bother you until something goes wrong at which point it politely invites you to visit Jer’s Software hut to purchase the backup?

    Concientious backeruppers would never need it, but other people could be highly motivated buyers.

    Act now before Dogbert is first to the space.

  4. You know when you REALLY want to remember to back up? It’s when you’re using a laptop on batteries on a sailboat, smack-dab in the middle of a large lake. The laptop’s in the cockpit, and the backup flash drive is tucked into a handbag safely stowed below. Rather than risk the flash falling overboard, the laptop is taken below every so often to make the backup.

    Oooh, but what a great feeling to be out on the water AND also cranking out the words for NaNo!

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