Too many people merely do what they are told to do. The greatest satisfaction derives from the realization of your individual potential, perceiving something in your own way and expressing it through adequate understanding of your tools. Take advantage of everything; be dominated by nothing except your convictions. Do not lose sight of the essential importance of craft; every worthwhile human endeavor depends on the highest levels of concentration and mastery of basic tools.
Well, I had a fun little adventure in Ways Microsoft Can Break Itself today: I bought my laptop brand new almost 4 years ago. Besides a hard drive replacement almost 2 years ago and the slow but inevitable death of the original battery (replaced ~1/2 a year ago), it’s been blue skies. This morning, all of a sudden, it started saying that my copy of Windows 7 (which, of course, came preinstalled) “is not genuine” and that I need to buy genuine software. Say what?
Avast, Spybot, and Malwarebytes found no baddies besides a few unwanted but mostly harmless cookies. The internet said this has actually happened to quite a number of people. The most informative page (if it’s accurate) said Windows has a hidden function that gives Microsoft a snapshot of the hardware you’re running when you first set up the computer, and if too much changes, especially if it changes all at once, it flags you and thinks you’re trying to pirate/copy the OS onto new computers, or something like that. Suggestions included mostly “call Microsoft (ha ha like they’ll help),” “reinstall Windows (ha ha you lose anything not yet backed up and have to waste a day setting the rest back up)” or “buy a new copy of Windows (ha ha Microsoft just robbed you).”
Someone with apparently more sense suggested re-entering the product key from the sticker on the bottom of the laptop. I did. This seems to have fixed it, but I still have no idea what caused my OS to try to self-destruct or whether it’ll do it again. Hooray. -_-
(If you happen to know what causes this – when no hardware has changed – please tell!)
At long last (half a year or so), I’m back to updating my Zazzle site. I’ve added a few dozen new items to my photography gallery, which are still in the process of going live; I have all the templates set up to play catch-up at Les Étoiles, as well. Since I was last there, Zazzle has retired a few product lines, brought one back (gel mousepads, which I now get to remake), and added quite a lot of new ones, some of them pretty strange. Like this:
…Yep, that’s a flask. I’m a bit surprised that they believe demand for flasks is high enough to warrant setting up the process & stocking them, but it’s providing me some comic relief, at any rate. The image is one I call “Perspective,” which was from a college photography assignment to find an alternative sort of ‘landscape.’ Now I’m re-purposing it as a pun…it is a bottle of ‘different perspective,’ you know. Weird image for a weird item.
Zazzle has also added a really nice-looking pewter snowflake ornament, which would have been nice to notice before Christmas came and went, but oh well. Here’s one:
They also finally have double-sided keychains (it always seemed strange to me that the only keychains they sold were one-sided, when every gift shop I’ve been in always has some kind of clear plastic ones with the image on both sides). And they have the greatest-looking pocket journals, which let you choose what style of page rule to use, including dot grid! And I can add design-y stuff to the inside covers! Favorite new item, definitely, even though I’ve not seen it personally.
“In the winter they were weavers of warmth,
in summer they were carpenters of love;
they thought blueprints were too sad,
so they made them yellow.”
I’d love to hear your favorites, chers lectuers. Yeah, I’m in a short-French-phrase-using mood; I blame Hitch. I read a couple of his books this month, and he threw a lot of unnecessary French into his writing.