On the way to recovery

After the spate of work on the comics museum project (speaking of which, there is a whole batch of new photographs on the studio computer which I hope to upload as soon as internet access from there is restored, but before the museum’s opening day even if it isn’t), the final pages for this school year’s Hello You, the ROCR work and the trip to England which was as hectic as any of the above, I was pretty exhausted. Much more exhausted than I thought I was, testimony to which are the pile of forgotten bills on my desk, the odd errors in the ROCR comics just before the Sparknoodle sequence we’re in now and my own inability to get out of bed if I don’t absolutely have to go out and teach at a fixed time. I’m getting better now, but I still find myself having to take naps in the afternoon, which was unheard of this time last year.

Nevertheless, I will have an ROCR update on Wednesday. I’m not resuming the regular Mon/Wed/Fri schedule just yet, but I wanted to have this one out on Wednesday to make up for Friday’s missed update. And there will be one on Friday the 23rd, before we go back to the reduced schedule for the rest of April.

Also, I’ve decided to cancel my plans to do a 24-hour comic on the 24th. If I can’t get through a regular working day without a nap now, then it’s unlikely that I’ll be fit enough to do a 24-hour comic next week. Some other time.

Back to the ftp client chase

The chase is on again for a graphical ftp client for linux that satisfies the fairly basic (to me) criterion of not actually being harder to use than the command line. gftp just failed it (again!) in a big way. I already started having doubts a few weeks ago when I tried to set a bookmark on it. It turned out that gftp uses the evil style of configuration found in quite a few gtk-based programs, where after you click OK on a change you have to go back to a menu and actually “save changes” for real. That sort of thing always makes me wonder if linux programmers actually use graphical software. Do they just write them because someone told them that is what they have to do to get linux accepted by the masses? Still, that’s a minor issue because you don’t set bookmarks every time you use a program.

What is a big deal is if, when you try to use the program to upload something, it will not let you drag and drop multiple files, and indeed will treat the files on your drive, which are clearly visible in the left pane, as if they don’t exist. I suppose I could have spent some time figuring out what the error was. But what I did instead was reach for the command line ftp app, upload the files in all of one minute using that, and add gftp to the list of useless apps that don’t save me time in the way that a 4 years out of date version of WS ftp does.

X!Gloop revisited

This comic from 1991 has been in my Gallery for some time, but as I’m no longer updating that (something in the server setting has changed so I can’t post anything), I might as well repost it for new readers to boggle at!

As Adam Cuerden said back when I posted it: “Heh heh heh! Delightfully mad! =)”

At least it makes my purchasing decisions easier

Flemish vocal goddesses Lais have released a new album. Unfortunately, what it’s released on is a shiny disk that may or may not cause music to be played if it is placed in a CD player. So I’ll wait for it to either go to mid-price or be released on CD. Instead, I bought the new Finntroll album Nattfödwhich had also just arrived in the shops. It plays in anything! And it’s quite alright even if it’s not as good as Jaktens Tid.

Seriously, I’ve had so many playback problems with the last batch of CDs that I bought that had so-called copy control technology on them that I’m losing patience with them even as cheap reissues of albums I already know to be essential. I won’t boycott them outright, but it’s a huge strike against any album if it’s unplayable in my discman or computer.

Volunteers needed for kid-friendly website

One question that keeps coming up in the recent workshops I’ve been doing for kids aged 9-12 is “do you have a website?” At that point I tend to hem and haw and turn more than a bit weasely, because while I think that an intelligent kid who’s into fantasy and read it with some parental guidance would not find the material in ROCR objectionable or harmful (I read much stranger stuff at that age), I still wouldn’t want it to be the first thing made by me that a child saw.
So I need a kid-friendly website, featuring maybe a few Floor material, some info on workshops and space to put other things I might do in the future, aimed at young readers (particularly English-as-a-second-language learners). I have my hands full, so I’m calling for volunteers to design it!

What I’m looking for:

* Kid-friendly design, with particular attention to usability aimed at kids. (this is probably easier than designing usability for adults because kids are more patient about waiting for stuff to load, and are more likely to read instructions).
* Design need not be consistent with the style of my other sites.
* Standards-compliance prefered; not limited to a single browser or platform.
* Extensible – site needs to be able to accommodate future work
* Dutch and English versions of texts (supplied by me) on the same page (English dominant); English with glossaries in the style of Hello You to be used for comic pages.

I don’t have a big budget and don’t expect anything fancy; if no volunteers are forthcoming I might go with an inexpensive design agency, but first I’d like to see if any of my readers are interested in doing this for me. If so, contact reinder@despammed.com

And it turns out that…

…like I warned in yesterday’s blog entry, I can’t get Friday’s update done in time, at least not without either driving myself insane or showing up groggy and late at tomorrow’s workshops. I hope that this will be the last canceled update for 2004 (having already missed more updates in the first 3 1/2 months of this year than in the 3 1/2 years before that put together, or so it seems), and I do expect things to get back to nearly normal next week, but for now, last Monday’s Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan update will stay up until next Monday. I would rather that it didn’t, for reasons that I will go into when I have more time and energy (sigh), but that’s how it’s gonna be.

I have returned

I’m back from a trip to England, but won’t be blogging much as I’m still overwhelmed by work. I’ve already put in the first hours of a two-week string of workshops and put in some more tweaks of the exhibit (now running in kiosk mode and with Stripster‘s massive collection included as the latest update) and will spend this evening working on next Friday’s ROCR page and preparing for Friday’s workshops in which I will be teaching adults. Whew!

Two webcomics I didn’t run in the exhibit…

… because the people involved didn’t get my mails, got them but didn’t answer them, got them and answered them but I didn’t get their replies, got them and answered them and I got their replies but lost them…

The Spiders by Patrick Farley;
Player Versus Player by Scott Kurtz.

I still want both, and have in fact prepared archives for both, in case they email me back to confirm (if they email me back to say no, I’ll just delete the archives). You probably know PVP, but if you don’t, go check it out. Patrick Farley’s The Spiders is a favorite among the arty, innovative webcomics crowd, and rightly so. It also has a great story.

(Forgot to post this one before leaving. Sorry)

And it’s back to the museum again

I’ve been back to the museum to copy some more work to it. I ended up staying there a little longer than I anticipated, but I didn’t mind because in daylight, with a fresher eye, the exhibit looks a lot better. I’ve fixed a few glaring errors in the exhibit itself, and spent some time trying to get those monitors working properly. They still aren’t (Danny’s suggestion in this morning’s comments was followed up but I couldn’t find the setting he referred to) but I now know who to ask – and if I can’t reach that person, well, the monitors have to be configured through through NVidia Nview (surely someone reading this has worked with that?)

I mentioned damage to the prints covering the columns yesterday, but I’m glad to report that I saw rolled-up replacement prints in the room today. Also, there will be opportunities to install an updated version next week. Things are looking up!

By the way, I have new pictures, but infuriatingly, the linux system won’t let me upload them from the digital camera even though I did exactly the same things I to get to them as yesterday. Computers? We’re better off scratching pictures into the sand with sticks!