jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We're still feeling kind of icky and stuff, partly because our hormones have decided to change up our temperature tolerances >_o

Aaand we flip-flopped between Linux and Windows 8.1 a few times before settling on the latter, and finding ways to block a lot of the annoying commercialism, like Skype ads and "Upgrade to Windows 10!" banners.

But we're feeling better and less stressed now, and while we still have things to sort out we should be able to have a DW site up for the RP (along with the players' finalized character sheets) within a week or so.

We wanted to let everyone know, and also to know that we haven't forgotten to work on our fanfic or anything. Also, we somehow got three Malifaux models assembled, and are eagerly (and somewhat anxiously) awaiting next month's long-rumoured Tau releases.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

(Which your PC may or may not be installing right now.)

Who is affected

If you primarily used the "normal" Windows desktop, in Windows 7 or 8.1, you will not be affected by this. Microsoft changed up some things for you, but not a whole lot, and if you didn't like the Start screen in Windows 8.1 the Start menu now works more like you're probably used to.

If you mostly used modern fullscreen apps in Windows 8.1, and stayed in its tablet interface on a laptop or desktop PC, you are affected.

What it is doing

Windows 10 forces all non-tablet users into the Windows desktop. There is a way to turn on "Tablet mode," but it will not work if you have an external display connected.

Windows 10 also lacks many of the features associated with 8.1's Modern interface, such as the Charms bar, the task switcher list you could get to by mousing into the upper-left corner, the Immersive Browser of IE 11, and the horizontally-scrolling Start menu. If your app icons were carefully laid out and grouped in Windows 8.1, they will be gone in Windows 10, and replaced with apps that you didn't choose to install but came with the upgrade. Also, on the desktop focus doesn't follow the mouse, so you can't (for instance) scroll in a browser window while chatting in Skype.

Microsoft recently forced everyone who uses Skype on Windows to download its Desktop version, even though the Modern app was working fine, and claimed through error messages and install dialogues that your Skype experience was being improved. Like with banner ads all over the place.

(This link explains how to disable the ads in Skype.)

This is basically what Microsoft is doing to everyone who grew to love and rely on the fullscreen, Modern interface. You can't get it to work on certain systems, it doesn't work nearly the same, and in general everything is more cluttered and intrusive and there are more ads. If this is not to your liking, you may want to consider not upgrading.

Apparently the people who want everyone's computers to work like they did in 1995 won, and we can't have nice things anymore.

Addendum 1

We are downloading Linux.

Addendum 2

We have wasted the last three years, and all the time we spent learning in Visual Studio.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

We wrote our "conversion story" on a forum we signed up for recently, and thought it summed things up pretty nicely in case anyone here is interested in what we've used technology-wise (although it leaves out our history of tablets, game consoles, and one beat-up iBook). What, am I the only one with an obsessive interest in how people relate to their technology and what that says about them?

Behind cut! )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Mormon theology holds that freedom is a product of obedience to Mormon leaders and teachings. The line of reasoning goes something like this:

You can choose to obey and be happy, or you can choose to disobey and be sad. The more you disobey, the more it takes away your ability to make future choices, through chains of addiction and bad consequences. But obeying increases your freedom and opens up new choices to you. So always choose to obey.

Sometimes, disobeying leads to immediate negative consequences. Like being eaten by crocodiles. (Content note: violence, predation, jump scares)

That's why you should only want to have "good, clean, wholesome, Latter-day Saint fun," like these identically-dressed youth. (Content note: cringe-inducing)

You know why they're having fun? Because when you're scared to death that breaking the rules will get you gruesomely eaten, you are freaking desperate for your needs to be satisfied in a way that the rules will allow. (This is also why Mormons marry for all of eternity at 19, after six-week courtships.)

How desperate? This desperate.

A lot of people use Free Software desktop operating systems for reasons that make perfect sense. I didn't. I was a PC gamer and a creative, and the desktop designed to set hackers free left me in chains.

"They cannot help their neighbours"

I had written an entire real-time strategy game in Visual BASIC on Windows 98, using 3d graphics I rendered myself, when I was 16 years old. I always told myself I would learn to do something like that again, this time with completely Free Software. But I never did. Instead I spent years installing and reinstalling distros, and when I finally set out to learn Linux app programming I found that I had to write the documentation myself. Worse, no one else would ever read it.

Add to that the politics, the sexism, the white cismale good ol' boys' network (they call it a "meritocracy"), and the grotesquely rude billionaire in charge of the biggest Free Software OS, and suddenly the cult didn't seem so appealing anymore.

I switched completely over to Windows 8 a few days ago. Immediately afterwards, my laptop got infected with malware when I tried to install a dodgy utility. I knew it was my fault, just like everything bad that's happened to me since I left the Mormon church has been my fault. Has been God's punishment, Satan's having his way with me, spiritual crocodiles snapping their jaws around my neck.

I'm supposed to go crawling back

To the people who shamed me for liking things they didn't, told me to ignore needs that they didn't have, and didn't think it was a problem that pretty much no one like me was making decisions in their world.

But the rest of the world isn't like that. It's okay to like different things. It's okay to have needs that aren't met by one particular church or OS, even if lots of other people like them. It doesn't mean that you're broken or terrible. It doesn't mean you have to sacrifice everything you like, just to make them comfortable. And it doesn't mean you have to give up your dreams, in order to do work that they don't even value.

I'm glad that the GNOME Foundation's sponsors paid me, and that my mentor and the people who left me kind comments encouraged me to develop my skills. I just wish that it'd been the kind of culture that would've chastised the trolls, instead of letting them run loose and say mean, clueless things in the same room and in the same comment threads. And I wish that it'd been the kind of culture that valued newbie documentation enough to have already had it in place, instead of delegating it to an intern years down the road and then promptly burying it.

Microsoft's offering money for apps

And they are all about their app developers.

I have been utterly spoiled by Visual Studio and Windows 8 so far, after I learned to avoid dodgy apps. I have been reading comprehensive tutorials, often written by women, using languages (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) I already know. And I feel like when I learned Visual BASIC that first time, and make something that amazed myself.

I don't know what I'm going to be using or writing a year from now, but I like what I've done so far and I want to keep going. I'll let you all know what happens.

In the meantime, I have at least one story commission to work on, and I've also been working on the [community profile] fursonarpg. We still don't have a start date set, but it's been awesome to see so many people excited about it.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Microsoft is doing a promotion where you get paid $100 for every Windows Store (or Windows Phone) app you write, for the next couple of months. I don't have nearly as much resistance to the idea as I thought I would. In fact, I'm loving this 30-day app challenge I'm on, and seeing official blogs and developer resources by women. Is this what it's like outside the Free Software world, where more than like 1 percent of people are female-identified?

Anyway, I know a lot of people hate it but I also love Windows 8 so far. It's more elegant than anything else that we've worked with so far, including OS X. Plus, we can write Javascript apps for it, which is good since that's what we know. I don't like said apps being tied to the Windows Store as the only channel of distribution, but I'm almost cheering for Microsoft as the underdog here since there are a lot of reasons I dislike Apple and Google's corporate practices. And MS has come a long way since the antitrust trial.

Plus, being able to play my games inside an inoffensive (to my senses), aesthetically pleasing OS, with elegant developer tools and a significant Free Software component (Firefox) has been ... very nice.

Speaking of Firefox, they're giving out Firefox OS phones to people who say they'll write apps for them. I told Mozilla I basically wrote GNOME's Javascript docs, and want to write a Dreamwidth client. Here's hoping that I get accepted?

Also, issues

Content note for abuse, discussion of incest and rape, trans issues, and internalized transphobia. Please please please do not read this if you are trans and are struggling for self- or outside acceptance.

Read more... )

Optimism

Nov. 2nd, 2012 07:41 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)
So far this week, I've managed to get two articles done every weekday. I've also been taking a ton of walks, and doing lots of cleaning and moving things around. I'm feeling better and more energetic, I got a personal project done last weekend, and I'm hoping to write more furry stuff this weekend. I've been watching a TV series [personal profile] cereus linked me to, about the time period their commission takes place in, and it's been surprisingly interesting.

I relocated most of my things to the bedroom, which was going mostly unused. It doubles as my office now, and there's something strangely reassuring about having a lot of screens and games and electronics around me. The ThinkPad Edge [personal profile] aliaspseudonym got me came in late last week, but it has a cluster of dead pixels on it, so I'm sending it back in to get serviced. Once it comes back, I'll use an HDMI cable to plug it in to the 19" display I'm currently using for the PS3, so that I'll have even more space to work with for writing and programming ... and FFXI, of course.

It's a very nice computer. >_> It's lighter than the 12" iBook I loved, and almost as streamlined and awesome. It's almost as big as my current laptop, but much more solid and professional. Plus it's extremely powerful, by my standards, and the 16 GB solid-state "cache" drive makes a perfect spot to install GNOME on and have it boot up in 10 seconds. I'm trying out Windows 8 also, and I really like it. Am considering writing apps for it, since you can use JavaScript and HTML. Want to continue working on GNOME though ... apparently, the Outreach Program is starting back up in January.

Starting to think about how I want to decorate my personal area. Looking at lots of people's workspaces, and collections of anime memorabilia. Not sure what sort of things I want to have, or how many. Right now I have a small sampling of all sorts of things that've interested me, from New World of Darkness RPG books to PSP UMDs. I got a set of card sleeves for my Magic cards, which have a very nice design IMO ... they may be the "girliest" thing that I have right now, and I'm surprised that I was okay with getting them at the store and wasn't afraid or hesitant.

Now to see if they have the bright magenta dice I wanted, at the game store today. I'm also thinking of playing a character(s) inspired by the card sleeve design, at Pathfinder Society. Wish us luck!

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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