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Keith Palmer's Multi-Purpose Journal
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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Keith Palmer's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2016
8:32 pm
Into the Sierras
When iTunes announces there's been another iPad operating system upgrade I tend to be pretty quick giving the okay to download and install it, but I can be a lot slower when it comes to the operating system of the iMac that first program runs on to begin with. I guess I always feel I have to fight past a miasma of "fear, uncertainty, and doubt" and the lurking presence of those people who've refused to upgrade for half a dozen major revisions by now. It does so happen I have a black plastic Macbook bought used that can't be upgraded much past system 10.6.8, but the awareness of the recent programs that can't be run on it is now getting to me. I did get around to setting up a double-boot system on it with a version of Mint Linux (which does seem to get more updates than some hypothetical scenario of "settling on perfection to be followed by lots of security updates" might seem to have it), but the unfortunate feeling of not being clever enough to really get things configured and installed just the way I like it gets to me in turn.

While last year I "upgraded" to "El Capitan" by the expensive method of buying a new iMac with the operating system pre-installed on it, I knew I'd have to resort to a more typical method when it came to "Sierra." The one thing I did pick up on was that the interactive fiction programming language Inform, and all the major text adventure game engines, weren't working properly with the new system. After a few months of waiting (and the peculiar awareness that "Sierra On-Line" had been a historical force in the however-ambiguous rise of graphic adventures), though, I'd heard about the language and some of the interpreters being revised in turn to work. Waiting just a little longer turned up one more point revision to the system, and I stepped off the deep end.

After making several backups of the old system, I ran the installer in place to save on having to reload old files, and yet it all started up again. So far I've only used the new operating system for a few days, but even so things do seem to be working and I'm settling in. I might not have noticed but for creating some custom folder icons that the regular folder icons are just a shade darker than they'd been in the system previous; I've begun a bit of work on that with another program that continued to work afterwards.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/272703.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Sunday, December 18th, 2016
7:32 pm
From the Bookshelf: The Complete Peanuts Comics and Stories
For the unexpected twenty-sixth volume of The Complete Peanuts, I pondered over just how to get a copy of it and wound up ordering one online, almost "for old time's sake" remembering how I'd got a certain number of volumes that way over the years. There was something a little "Charlie Brown-like" about that, though, when I received the book in the mail and found its hardcover boards were warped. I had it anyway, though, and could contemplate seeing what had been selected to go in it. Hearing what would be in it a little while before it was published did get me realising that, for all that I seldom suppose myself "an assiduous collector," I'd lucked into getting a good number of the stories promised to be in it back when they were still generally for sale. Even with that, though, there did turn out to be surprises.
'Now, I can go back to worrying about soil erosion!'Collapse )
'Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.'Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/272421.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Thursday, December 15th, 2016
6:00 pm
From the Bookshelf: Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Endurance
In getting to read the Legend of the Galactic Heroes novels in translation at last, I am always sort of conscious of having managed to see their anime adaptation first. (At times, too, buying the novels does sort of seem a no doubt inadequate effort to try and "make up" for just how I saw the anime...) At the end of the second novel, I was as inclined as anything to keep seeing the story as pausing at a moment of great impact, but remembering a change in the anime's opening and closing credits (after a good number of episodes spun out of two novels) was one more sign of that. As the third novel picked up, I could see the Galactic Empire's protagonist Reinhard von Lohengramm as having been isolated by that, with his not nearly as totipotent counterpart on the other side of the interstellar space opera war, Free Planets Alliance Admiral Yang Wen-li, isolated in turn by being hauled before a kangaroo board of inquiry. I can understand this steady emphasis on the degradation of the Alliance (with an enigmatic third party meddling all the while) troubling people who might read the novel now; at the same time, I'm conscious of having become more dubious about invocations of "front-line military leaders who possess inbuilt dignity and reasonableness" since I first read the Robotech novelizations long years ago. The one point that might be made in favour of Legend of the Galactic Heroes could be that by this point in the story, the aggressive Alliance commanders have been killed off.
Space opera in the meantimeCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/272290.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Saturday, December 10th, 2016
1:00 pm
Past the Other Side
When I got around to watching the Star Wars movies this year and, halfway through "hybrid order," found any possible previous concerns that this time things would be different seemingly overcome by invigoration, I went ahead and posted about it. After I'd done that, though, I did get to wondering if I'd "set myself up at last," if Attack of the Clones in particular would feel "stuck as the middle movie" or something. I got through it in turn just fine, however, and thoughts that maybe Revenge of the Sith would pose personal problems somehow might not have had the chance to get started. On getting back to the old movies with Return of the Jedi, though, I suppose I was at least conscious of the laments of others on interpreting most of the major performances as "burnt out," as much as I tried to bring to mind other, more positive interpretations I've seen. At least since reading the modern "making of" book, I sometimes find myself wondering if George Lucas saw the important part of the movie as "redemption," but with the big secret of The Empire Strikes Back having leaked (if perhaps not to as widespread publicity as might happen nowadays) he tried even harder to keep that part restricted to those who needed to know, only to leave everyone else kind of underwhelmed at the impression the movie was "about" "creatures..."

I was perhaps following more Star Wars discussions in the late 1990s since I've done since, and I'm ready to suppose a "golden age" wasn't "lost" in sudden and shocking fashion in 1999 (or even 1997) because I'm aware of the complaints about Return of the Jedi from back then. It's at least possible I fell away from possible "groupthink" just out of the inarticulate conviction the then-third Star Wars movie was the conclusion and getting upset about it wouldn't make a difference except to yourself, but in since coming to think I could really shock some by declaring the three new movies a more interesting and compelling unit I always feel that also has to face the possibility all the "blame" then falls on Return of the Jedi itself. That, of course, might not even really touch on the unpleasant feeling that the latest of three "official" continuations from that point (and the one that has the apparent advantage of existing in the same medium as the previous movies) involves the celebrated heroes of the apparently beloved movies having failed off-screen in just about every way for the sake of getting new product with a drab ethos and a barrage of snappy dialogue rolling. Still, that hasn't quite stopped me from thinking "roll on Rogue One" so far.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/271922.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Monday, December 5th, 2016
6:40 pm
MST3K K02: Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars
According to the official Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode guide's brief section on the show's formative instalments aired on a UHF station in Minnesota ("Oh, and trust us--you don't want to see the KTMA episodes."), "Invaders from the Deep" and "Revenge of the Mysterons from Mars" were a double feature on American Thanksgiving in 1988. When those two long-lost episodes were made available to the revival Kickstarter backers, though, I took my usual week in getting to the second show. I knew it was another "Supermarionation" epic, but could only guess how it might come across in turn.
'Who says puppets don't have a sense of humour?'Collapse )
'I would never say that.'Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/271776.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Friday, December 2nd, 2016
9:30 pm
Manga Thoughts: Monster
Naoki Urasawa's manga was respectable. At the time I'd started hearing that, it was also being translated into English and published in a specific order, with promises of some works that sounded particularly interesting only to follow other series. I more or less accepted that and started buying "Monster," about a Japanese neurosurgeon who just happens to be working in Germany, where he jeopardizes his career by operating on an injured boy instead of the mayor, only for that boy to reappear in his life years later as a serial killer... I was only three volumes into that series, though, when a few panels in another manga Viz was also publishing at the time were retouched in an another apparent attempt not to offend the moral, and in the second fit of pique that had gripped me over that I stopped buying all Viz titles (save, that is, for the occasional appearances of the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga).
That was it for a while, but...Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/271425.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Monday, November 28th, 2016
9:32 pm
MST3K K01: Invaders from the Deep
When I filled in the last space on my list of "episode thoughts" about Mystery Science Theater 3000, there were some "end of an era" thoughts, and yet there still could have been a certain negative space left open on that list. I'd commented on every episode shown on cable, the movie, and Joel Hodgson's proof-of-concept pilot, which he'd shown at a convention where someone had made a fully adequate recording that had wound up an online video encoding. I could have followed the pilot by seeking out those episodes people had managed to videotape off an Minnesota UHF station in 1988 and 1989, but along with all the comments overheard how the improvisational "KTMA episodes" had a lot of "unriffed space" in them and the personal impression the first cable episodes themselves can feel sort of tedious, I had what might seem the convenient excuse there were no fan copies of the first three episodes. Starting close to one beginning seemed fine to some, but somehow I was a little too conscious of the gap.
'I think it's a good time to point out these puppets do their own stunts.'Collapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/271268.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016
8:39 pm
Invasion Colossus Big Shot Track (or, one more MST3K collection)
Many people may be searching for "good news" right now. I suppose this only means that to a certain number of them, but I was at least surprised in a pleased sort of way to see the titles announced for one more official collection of Mystery Science Theater 3000 DVDs. The case will be crowded with lettering for the set number in Roman numerals, and as for the episodes itself they all happen to be from the "Mike years," but most of them have a fair bit of resonance for me. "Invasion USA" is an entertaining slice of cheaply produced Cold War agit-prop (which I suppose I compare to the "Joel episode" "Rocket Attack USA"), and "Colossus and the Headhunters" sort of keeps up the pattern by being Mike's counterpart to the Hercules movies of the Joel years. "High School Big Shot" is a depressing yet perhaps compelling skewed take on "juvenile delinquency exploitation," and "Track of the Moon Beast" does at least jump out of the sixth season to the tenth with a bleak sort of 1970s monster movie.

There was also a limited-time preorder bonus announced when buying from the Shout! Factory site. I haven't ordered many of those (save for the cardboard slipcase to go around the DVDs in a "canned set"), but the promise of a certain number of "host segments" from the initial "KTMA episodes" did get my attention and leave me wondering. It would be something to see whatever introduction was offered to those watching the very first episode (unless the opening credits were more or less that), but if it's just excerpted from the well-worn fan copies of the later episodes that have been passed along for years that might not be quite as compelling. The very first episodes not having been recorded that way may be my excuse for not plugging through the apparently very improvised beginning of the series.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/270986.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
6:34 pm
Movie Thoughts: Arrival
Cleaning up some piles of old correspondence a while ago, I managed to find two free movie passes in an envelope trying to get me to go back to a particular car service. Aware the passes would expire in the middle of next year, I got to wondering just what two movies I would try and see with them. One option opened up when I heard of a science fiction movie called Arrival. On going to see it, though, I did find myself thinking that what I'd managed to hear hadn't given too much about the movie away. That might have made it more interesting for me, but also left me half-convinced there'd be something gauche about turning around and saying too much to someone else in turn, as much as I want to share a positive opinion.
What I say might be vague anywayCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/270646.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Friday, November 18th, 2016
8:35 pm
Accidental Addendum
A few hours after putting together a post yesterday suggesting it seems at least possible to escape indignation at the conviction that the "battle for Naboo" hinged altogether on a "whoops" moment, I had a "whoops" moment of my own remembering an additional thought I'd had but forgotten to set down in writing. That "not everything depended on Anakin" doesn't have to lead to the smug conclusion he should have just been left with his mother on Tatooine and everyone would have wound up happier; he did also happen to clear some "destroyer droids" out of Queen Amidala and company's path to get his Naboo starfighter moving. (I suppose this could be seen as beginning to set up the suggestion a larger power was guiding him, anyway.)

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/270513.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Thursday, November 17th, 2016
6:53 pm
Accidental but not Essential
When I made the time last year to watch six Star Wars movies (which can, among other things, leave me aware how often I can't make the time to watch even one old movie), I suppose thoughts of "the end of an era" were at least present. After not managing to work up interest in buying the Blu-Ray of The Force Awakens, though, and after making one excuse after another to not watch it on Netflix this weekend, all of a sudden I'd resolved to get back to the familiar six before the end of the year, almost as if things hadn't changed after all. I did resort to what I can call "hybrid order," with the new movies in the middle as an extended flashback, as if to avoid both a too-strong statement of just where "numerical order" points and the direct lead-in of "production order" to Rogue One (although at the moment each of its successive trailers seem to have impressed me a bit more than before...) While I'd at least imagined accusations of resenting how I'd put all that work into "appreciation" to the point of resisting an effortless barrage of snappy dialogue, when the order rolled around to The Phantom Menace once more I didn't seem troubled at all. I suppose I'd put a bit of thought beforehand into one particular interpretation of one particular moment, though.

I can still wrap my head around to supposing Anakin seeming to fire the shot that blows up the droid control ship "by accident" added to the indignation of some. While there just might be a chance now to point elsewhere at "the Force guiding someone," I happened to think that while "the big explosion" catches attention, the crucial moment that had been mentioned before in the movie was Amidala and company managing to capture the Trade Federation viceroy, an echo perhaps of Palpatine managing at least a partial success in becoming Supreme Chancellor. Anakin would then have definitely helped more pilots survive the battle than otherwise and eliminated the possibility the droid army would eventually execute its captives, but once again the rush to indignation might have overcome some. That thought might not help anyone but me, but it did at least add a bit to getting to the halfway point; I'm looking further ahead yet at the possibility of managing to watch the Clone Wars episodes that featured the younger inspiration for a Rogue One character, anyway.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/270168.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Saturday, November 12th, 2016
6:35 pm
From the (e)Bookshelf: In Search of Wonder
Happening on the Wikipedia article for a book I'd heard of a fair while ago as one of the first serious critical looks at science fiction, I was reading almost idly through its information on Damon Knight's In Search of Wonder when all of a sudden I noticed it mention there was now an ebook edition. With dawning interest I made a quick search of the iBooks catalogue and discovered the ebook was available there as well. Eventually, I suppose, I could get around to "buying a first book for another e-reader application," but not having to do that in this case was fine for me.

On starting to read through In Search of Wonder, though, I did realise it wasn't quite the book I'd imagined it to be. As with some of the first science fiction novels linked to the tradition that grew out of American pulp magazines (which is of course a different thing altogether from "the first science fiction novels ever"), it was put together from small pieces from magazines. Knight's critical reviews of SF novels of the 1950s are incisive, often entertaining, and do seem written in such a way they perhaps didn't goad me to an uncomfortably familiar recoiling feeling when they were more negative than my own old reactions, but perhaps I'd imagined something constructed more as a unit. The book was revised a few times, and happening on a chapter about a single nonfiction book dwelling worryingly on irrigation projects spreading disease was one of the oddest touches for all that I could suppose Knight saw that point as needing to be made no matter what. At the very end of the book, after sorting out that a caustic take on "mainstream success" had been written in the 1950s rather than, say, the early 1980s, all of a sudden Knight was mentioning William Gibson and Kim Stanley Robinson; there'd at least been enough of a break to tell this was one of the revisions.

In any case, it did become interesting to see period opinions of books that, by the time I'd got around to them, were presented as "enduring classics" (as much as I've had to face how those "classics" have had some of their patina wear thin since then). I began to contemplate a two-volume boxed set of "classic novels" I'd bought not that long ago (although I never quite got around to writing a post about its second volume) and Knight wrote reviews of most of them, only for most of those reviews to include a fair bit of criticism. Two of the novels seemed to draw ire for invoking "striking images" that were nevertheless scientifically implausible; I have to admit this did provoke a thought or two about "gatekeeping" in general for all that I could see the specific point. Perhaps, though, it was the thoroughly negative takes on books I'd never heard of (for what I could see as perfectly good reasons) that were the most entertaining parts of the book, even if that might hint at quixotic quests ahead.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/269851.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Sunday, November 6th, 2016
8:41 am
Recreational Hazard
As I worked on my latest "quarterly review" of anime watched at the beginning of last month, in commenting on how impressed I'd wound up with the series Nichijou I did contemplate how I'd also been quite impressed by some other series I'd only seen via the underhanded method of "fansubs," and then added the comment that in some cases series that had impressed me that way had actually been licensed for official subtitled release over here, and yet sometimes watching through those discs had wound up with ominous sensations of feeling like an "obligation." The sudden news that Funimation had managed to license Nichijou (they've recently released two other series from Kyoto Animation Bandai Entertainment did get to release before being shut down) therefore didn't have to dredge up that ambiguous impression from very far. It might not be a strange personal record in terms of "least time passed," but it does sort of feel like one.

I'd at least like to hope impressions that Nichijou's comedy can be enjoyed over again will turn out all right, although there I'm reminded I now have five volumes of the original manga waiting to be read; at the moment I'm trying to concentrate on working my way through another manga series I'd piled up a stack of thick volumes of before getting around to it. I suppose it turned out Vertical getting to license it wasn't just a singular occurrence.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/269808.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
9:19 pm
Filling in a Colourful Corner
I delve back into enough old computer systems that I do seem to let them lie fallow and then return to dig deeper. A big part of this depends on contributions made by other people, though, whether in the form of scanned documents or emulator programs. Pushing past the early 1980s, three different emulator programs for the Macintosh can get me to the end of the 1990s. One of the jumps between them is a bit bigger than the other, though, and it just so happened one single thing fell into that space to get my attention.
A gradual processCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/269329.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Monday, October 31st, 2016
8:49 pm
A Word For Nightfall
I happened on a pointer to a site with an interesting yet challenging title. "Young People Read Old SFF" declared itself a "test of the hypothesis" of a comment from someone else that "nobody discovers a lifelong love of science fiction through Asimov, Clarke, and Heinlein anymore, and directing newbies toward the work of those masters is a destructive thing". In facing that I had to face the recollection that, while the movie Star Wars and science fiction books specifically for young readers had played their own definite roles, I'd been reading older science fiction paperbacks from the library at an early age. It might not be just a matter of "time catching up," though; it's easy enough to suppose nobody likes to contemplate that their opinions on various works of entertainment might not be the only reasonable one for others to come to.
One thing sticks, thoughCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/269241.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Tuesday, October 25th, 2016
8:40 pm
RWBY Revisited
Several months back, when I was looking to buy a null modem cable to try and hook up my family's old TRS-80 Model 100 to a more modern computer for the first time in over a decade, I needed to fill out the online order to the free shipping threshold. At that point, I happened to think back to how the third series of the computer-animated RWBY had sort of snuck up on me and impressed me, and got around to ordering the Blu-Ray of its first series. A while after that, I saw the Blu-Ray of its second series in a local video store for what seemed a very reasonable price, and bought it as well. It didn't seem that much later that I saw the third series was now available on Blu-Ray as well in the same place. Then, with the impression it wouldn't be much longer until a fourth season began to pick up where things had left off, I got around to watching the show over again.

I'd at least been curious about something "anime-esque" in some way associated with "Red vs. Blue," a comedy series voicing over in-game recordings from usually rather sedate Halo matches. Watching RWBY's first trailers had impressed me, and perhaps I'd even started thinking this might be the very best medicine for those dwelling on quite well rehearsed complaints that anime itself "these days" depended entirely on being tailored to a handful of outright creeps over in Japan. Since those first moments, though, I do have to admit to, by the end of the second series, becoming uneasy about impressions of negative comments overheard and the feeling the series couldn't coast on "having been made on a shoestring" forever. Now, however, with the sense the series had gone somewhere, things seemed to fit together better; I was able to recognise as well that in the waits between each group of short instalments some details had faded so that some things might have missed me altogether. Even the second series seemed more interesting now. (It might not have hurt either that I'd noticed that where most of the background characters in the first series had been simple blacked-in silhouettes, work had been done after it to computer-model those bystanders in detail.) I can still suppose each "series finale" might have depended to some degree on sudden appearances, and it's an open question as to where things might go and how accepting I can be (not to mention whether the series will be available for viewing on Crunchyroll), but I can at least look forward both to what's to come and to getting back to the commentaries and other bonus features.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/268996.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Thursday, October 20th, 2016
6:45 pm
Night Launch, but Not Much of a Landing
Having managed to hear a "return to flight" launch was about to happen for one of the space station cargo ships, I turned into the streaming coverage. The engines of the Antares rocket not igniting until an instant or so after "zero" did catch me, but after that things seemed to go well. With the launch happening at night there wasn't much to see (there wasn't "ride-along" camera footage, in any case), but I did stick around for the second stage burn, which was represented by a computer display. The "perigee altitude" caught my attention for being a very large negative number; as the rocket gained speed towards orbital velocity that number ticked down, but it took until the final seconds for it to speed up to a blur that at last turned positive as an "up and down" arc turned into an orbit. It was good to see the Antares rocket working again; although a Cygnus supply craft had been launched using a different rocket since the last one exploded during launch, since the unfortunate accident two different Falcon 9 rockets have exploded, one without being anywhere near launch.

As I was looking up more information on the launch, though, I happened to see a post saying a European Mars probe was just a few days away from arriving, and that it would be dropping off a small lander. It does take time for space probes to get to Mars, but I can't remember if I'd even noticed its launch in the first place. Intent on making up for that, I started following the news a little more closely, but the only reports that arrived said contact had been lost with the lander seconds before landing. I'd noticed the lander didn't have actual legs, just a sort of "crushable pad" underneath, but it now seems the evidence is pointing towards the timing being completely off for the landing rockets.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/268728.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Friday, October 14th, 2016
4:59 pm
From the Bookshelf: Lock In
Looking through the bookstore, I was passing by the remaindered shelves when one particular title broke through the unfortunate sense of disconnection I just might all but wallow in when it comes to science fiction these days. I couldn't quite remember where the impression I'd heard of John Scalzi's Lock In before to have it catch my attention had come from, but in picking up a copy and reading the blurb inside the cover I thought I could take a chance on it, remembering I had liked his book Redshirts; it was cheap enough anyway.
A slang-driven digressionCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/268462.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Saturday, October 8th, 2016
8:30 am
A Punctuated Punctuation Discovery
With just a bit of practice, I found that typing on my iPad's "glass keyboard" didn't seem "that" different from using a more physical input device. (I can suppose that for those who've grown accustomed to entering short notes and posts on the keyboard of a smart phone, there might be that much less of a deal to be made about something larger.) With a small collection of text editors and a Dropbox account, I can "pat out" quick-and-dirty rough drafts and transfer them to my computer. (This might not be that different from how the TRS-80 Model 100 was used by many. I suppose the Model 100's keys had more "travel" than indeed just about any portable computer keyboard available these days, but then in at least some circumstances I can see more than eight lines of forty characters each on an iPad's screen, and "filling the memory" doesn't seem to be an issue the way it might be with just thirty-two kilobytes to work with...)

However, if there was one thing that could slow me down, it was how there are only four punctuation marks available on the iPad's regular keyboard. To keep from sounding like one of those science fiction cultures that never use contractions, I'd have to reach down, call up the "punctuation keyboard," and type an apostrophe. To type any other punctuation mark, I also have to "put that keyboard away" once I'm done with it; adding HTML tags to a comment can be pretty involved. After a while, I began looking for alternatives. Considering keyboards sized to fit into an "iPad cover" kind of cramped, I bought a very cheap black-plastic Bluetooth keyboard (with a suspicious resemblance to the layout of the more solid Apple Bluetooth keyboard of the time) from a local surplus store; it was easy enough to carry it as well on a typical sort of day in a regular messenger bag. However, putting the batteries back in the keyboard and getting it connected did always seem to be just a bit of a production. I then managed to find a "third-party software keyboard" that was actually a "stylus input area," which at least brought thoughts of how these "keyboardless devices" were "once" supposed to work; however, writing on the screen seems just a little more involved than writing with a pen on paper. Doing a bit more searching, I happened on a software keyboard that squeezes skinny punctuation keys in around the regular screen keys; it was possible to get used to it, but I did get to thinking there was a slight air of lessened aesthetics about it, and that there could be something to "leaving keys out to fit in limited space" after all.

There were enough options to that new keyboard, though, that in exploring it I began to pick up on how you could "tap and hold" some keys and have extra characters pop up, the way I already knew to produce accented letters. All of a sudden, though, I was thinking about just where the apostrophe and punctuation mark are on the punctuation keyboard, and if there might be a trick to the regular iPad keyboard after all... Switching back, I found I really could hold down the comma to get an apostrophe, and hold down the period to get a quotation mark as well. This feels useful enough that I can wonder if it was my fault I hadn't seen anyone else notice it until now, but then there's always the chance someone else might yet hit on this tip for the first time here.

This entry was originally posted at http://krpalmer.dreamwidth.org/268274.html. Comment here or there (using OpenID) as you please.
Monday, October 3rd, 2016
7:58 pm
2016: My Third Quarter in Anime
I've led off my last few "quarterly reviews" of anime watched by dwelling on how few brand new series of late I've managed to even start viewing, much less stuck with, but in the three months just past I suppose I hit rock bottom, not watching any brand new series at all. One weak defence I could offer was that I knew I'd be going on a vacation in the middle of those three months; to be oppressed by memories of other vacations that had meant not just enforced breaks from watching weekly series but dwelling on how negative the opinions of everyone else on them had become until I'd convinced myself to abandon them seems to have its own small problems, though.

Being oppressed by that did at least point out how I wasn't quite facing "no capsule descriptions even appealed to me," however. It was a bit of a surprise to see the anime adaptation of a manga called "orange" had begun, but it just so happened I had started buying the manga itself without thinking about the upcoming anime, and hadn't quite finished it yet. "Starting with the manga" does seem to get in the way of "getting to the anime" for me these days; I at least wound up hearing the adaptation had hit some pretty rough patches along the way, and the "a future tries to help the present" manga had wound up more appealing to me than, say, Erased's "the present tries to change the past." It was that much more of a surprise to hear Funimation had licensed the new Love Live spinoff. That might have overcome the general uneasiness already mentioned and provided the push for me to sign up for their own streaming service at last, except for one more bit of casual contempt from someone else towards that service run into at the exact wrong moment adding to the nagging, half-irrational fear that since the animation studio Sunrise produced both Love Live and Gundam, the mere fact of Love Live Sunshine being a "spinoff" meant it would end up under the precise cloud of opprobrium most of the Gundam "alternative universes" seem weighed down by. A few months after that, though, the sudden announcement that Funimation and the streaming service Crunchyroll would start cooperating was a somewhat more pleasant surprise, if one I had scarcely even conceived of before with the impression Crunchyroll was where "everyone else" promoted their content. Whether this will mean in turn "everyone else" will start striking exclusive deals with still other services I don't have subscriptions for either is another question, however, and I suppose I don't even know if Love Live Sunshine (which seemed to be received with at least some positive reactions) will wind up part of the shared content before it's available for sale on discs over here anyway.
Continuing: Turn A Gundam and Giant GorgCollapse )
Manga preparation: High School DxD New and NichijouCollapse )
Short efforts: She and Her Cat and Inferno CopCollapse )
One-shots: Girls und Panzer, Under the Dog, The Ancient Magus' BrideCollapse )
Revisiting: Iria and ShirobakoCollapse )

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