Category Archives: All kind of crap

Kindle (e-book reader)

I guess everyone has heard of e-book readers. Amazon’s Kindle is the most popular. Therefore, I’m gonna risk invoking Amazon’s rage by referring to all e-book readers as “kindles”, so I don’t have to type “e-book reader” every bloody time.

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In case you haven’t heard of Kindle, this is a Kindle 😉

Now, when listening to people talk about a kindle, I keep hearing the same bloody prejudice why traditional books are better than kindle. People keep saying how a kindle lacks that “feeling of having paper in your hands” and that a kindle lacks the “smell” of a book.  I’d like to add that the “smell” is often the stench of decaying paper, but people seem to enjoy that particular aroma… Don’t get me wrong, those are the advantages of good old books, no question about it; bet let’s set the prejudice aside for a second and look objectively at all the pros.

Mkay, so we’ve got two cons tops. Before you mention battery, I wanna mention that battery life of my Kindle is about four weeks (with wi-fi turned off, of course 🙂 ), so battery life is hardly an issue. True, battery life probably depends on the model, but I seriously doubt it can be short.

Anyway, let’s continue with all the pros:

Kindle is lighter and, depending on the screen size, it can be quite smaller than an average book (mine is). Font size can be adjusted, so tiny print needn’t worry you anymore 🙂 It can store tons of books in its internal memory (mine, a rather old model, has 2 gigabytes; a book of about 800 pages has about a megabyte in Kindle’s native format, so you do the math…) alone + some models support external storage, so there’s no more carrying a few books on vacation or whatever.

Kindle ain’t clumsy like traditional books can be. All you have to do is hold the kindle (in one hand, on your knees, on a tale, or another surface; you can even buy stands) and simply touch the screen (or press a button if you have an older model) to “turn” a page without turning the pages traditionally. Note that you don’t need any special gloves for a Kindle because the touchscreen works even when you’re wearing ordinary gloves, which makes reading in winter a blast on Kindle since turning the pages of a traditional book in gloves is really clumsy. With Kindle, you don’t have to take your gloves of in a bus. Hell, you can read in the cold while waiting for the bus! 😀
With the freezing nights we’ve had lately, I realized how convenient Kindle really is only recently. I can simply cuddle into a cover completely, lean my Kindle on a pillow and just touch it to “turn” the pages. My Kindle (Paperwhite) can illuminate the screen (without consuming the battery much), so I don’t have to worry about the surrounding light. All in all, I don’t have to worry about finding a comfortable position with plenty of light without getting frozen.

The rumours of the Earth being our only planet are true and kindle is definitely environment friendly. Just imagine “4 gigs” of paper and how many trees need to be cut down for that much paper.

Well, since people often don’t think that saving money ain’t worth a thing if there’s no planet to save the money on and, therefore, the environment friendliness ain’t important to them, at least not in favour of profit, I’d like to add that e-books are much cheaper than traditional books. Buying a kindle is just the initial investment. If you read much and don’t want to depend on libraries [depending on how many books are translated into the local language(s) and how many of those actually interest you, local libraries can really be sparse], you will profit from a kindle pretty quickly.

In conclusion, you have the feeling of paper and the smell of a book in the one hand, and all the pros I mentioned (+ possibly more I didn’t mention), so next time when comparing traditional books with kindle, look past the prejudice and be objective 🙂

Finally, kindle is the future. Sooner or later, traditional books are going to become obsolete. Actually, the process has already begun. Traditional books may still be popular in your (or mine) lifetime but, let’s face it, the age of (traditional) books is at an end. Their demise is inevitable.

P.S. To all the people praising tablets in favour of a kindle; when it comes to reading, you are wrong, plain and simple, end of discussion 🙂 You can do a lot of shit on a tablet, including reading e-books, very true, but tablets are not made for reading books. Kindle is. In addition to (way) longer battery life, the screen of a kindle is designed and meant for reading. Your eyes don’t tire more than they would if you were reading text on paper and there’s no light reflection. A Kindle series is not called Paperwhite for no reason. Just check out the image below:

popup-glare-compareThe same book on a tablet (left) and a Kindle (right). There’s no glare on Kindle.


Posted on January 22nd, 2017 at 17:23 GMT
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Naprijed-nazad

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Kao i svakog zadnjeg vikenda u 10. i 3. mjesecu, jučer se mediji na veliko raspisali kako “opet” pomičemo sat i kako bi pomicanje sata trebalo ukinuti i bla bla. Zanimljivo je da nikom ne smeta ljetno vrijeme do samog pomicanja sata, odnosno sve je mkay osim ona dva dana u godini kad pomičemo kazaljke.

U biti, jedan takav članak je bio na Indexu. Sad kad sam pomicao sat na blogu, padne mi na pamet da jednostavno tu stavim komentar na članak, nego da imam čitabu na Fejsu.

Inače, ovo nije jedini post u kojem sam gubio vrijeme na vrijeme 😀 Prije nekoliko godina sam napisao Time zones i Time what is time. U njima bljezgarim i o ljetnom vremenu (DST).

U biti, priča kaže sledeće:

Čudite se ko pura dreku, a većina ljudi kurca zna o ljetnom vremenu. Hrpi ljudi je pomicanje sata svake godine takav neočekivani šok iako je pomicanje sata svake godine zadnjih nekoliko desetljeća zadnje nedjelje u listopadu i zadnje nedjelje u ožujku i tu nema ničeg neočekivanog i nepredvidljivog. Ljeti mi (zapravo i veći dio proljeća i pola jeseni jer ljetno vrijeme duže traje) dolaze obavijesti da se nešto događa u 16:00 GMT+1 iako je naravno pisac htio reći da je događaj u 4, a ne 3 PM. I sad, ili ga čekam sat vremena ko budala ili je lik zapravo dobro mislio, pa zakasnim, a nekad nam je nešto toliko važno da ćemo čekati i sat vremena, a ne riskirat da zakasnimo koliko god vjerojatno bilo da je ovaj mislio na kasniji termin. Raja se ponaša kao da smo sada na prirodnom računanju vremena, i sad u vražju mater sudbe li klete skraćujemo dan! Ne znam šta se nitko nije zapitao kako to da sjene iza podneva ne padaju na jug za vrijeme ljetnog vremena… Kad u školama uče računanje vremenski zona, samo se dodaju dodaje/oduzima jedan sat za svakih 15° geog. širine kao da cijeli svijet (jednako) računa ljetno vrijeme ili ono uopće ne postoji (ne bih sad da su neke zemlje same po sebi u krivoj zoni, tako da npr. u Parizu i Madridu nikad nije sat vremena manje nego kod nas 🙂 ). Lijepo se provedeš ako bi na taj način sutra računao vrijeme u New Yorku s kojim je razlika uglavnom 6 sati, ali je sljedeći tjedan 5 sati jer se Ameri tek sljedeću nedjelju vraćaju na zimsko vrijeme. A tek zemlje s ljetnim vremenom na južnoj hemisferi… Razlika sa Sydneyjom je trenutno 9 sati. Od sutra pa do kraja ožujak razlika će bit 10 sati, onda tjedan-dva opet 9 sati, a onda 8 i tako u krug.
I meni ovo pomicanje sata isto diže živac [pogledaj satove na naslovnoj slici, a imam još dva ručna, samo, srećom, riknule im baterije 😀 ] , ali se malo informiraj. Nemoj mi onda plakat da bi u kolovozu bio na plaži do 8 sati, ali je mrak. Ako pak cijelu godinu budemo na ljetnom vremenu, nemoj plakati da se sunce zimi ne pojavljuje do 8 ujutro. Nemojte zaboravit da mi možda jesmo mala zemlja za razliku od Rusije, ali se zato trebamo prilagodit Europi. Baš bi bilo zgodno da prelaskom granice sim i tam svako malo moramo pomicat sat… A kako bi tek turisti uživali u posjetu Lijepoj Našoj 🙂
Ukratko, jedini pravi problem je da ljetno vrijeme više nije ljetno. Sunce ti kalajisano, duže je od zimskog (standardnog). Koliko mi već ide na živac što na posao krećem po mraku. Slično, kad na proljeće prijeđemo na ljetno vrijeme, taman se naviknem da mi bude malo dana ujutro i eto ti mrklog mraka! Istina je da sam zahvalan da ljeti ne sviće u 4, ali što je prerano je prerano. Tako da molim lijepo da ljetno vrijeme ne maknete, ali ga skratite 🙂

Ovo o “poznavanju kurca” govorim iz iskustva. Dok sam kurca znao o ljetnom vremenu i sam sam u njemu vidio samo pomicanje sata i to mi je išlo na živce i samo zbog toga sam htio da se “pomicanje sata” ukine. S “kurcem” sam se dugo družio i o ljetnom vremenu ništa nisam znao godinama. Niti su ga spominjali u školi niti na faksu. Inače, faks o kojem govorim je geografija, tako da je to dosta žalosno. Zapravo, sjećam se da je na prijemnom bio zadatak s računanjem vremenskih zona na gore spomenuti način. Šterc nam je samo jedan sat filozofirao o ljetnom vremenu zato što smo imali slobodno predavanje nekoliko dana nakon pomicanja sata koje nas je potaklo na tu temu. Baš me to predavanje ponukalo da se malo informiram o temi. Ukratko, ljetno vrijeme nije nikakva znanost, ali se (prije prigovaranja) sam moraš informirati; ne možeš računat na (hrvatski) obrazovni sustav 🙂

Kad sam već kod obrazovnog sustava i pomicanja sata, da dotaknem s tim povezamu orijentaciju (pomoću Sunca) 😀 Stalno čujem komentare Ova današnja mladež se ne zna ni orijentirat pomoću Sunca… E pa, koliko se sjećam u školi samo trube Prijepodne je sunce na istoku, u podne na središtu horizonta, a poslijepodne na zapadu. Znači, po zimi je sve to super, samo se smrzneš u šumi 😉 a ljeti se izgubiš u šumi jer si u pola jedan vidio Sunce na “zapadu” 😀 Pravo me zanima da li isto sranje prodaju djeci u Saskatchewanu (provincija u “središtu” Kanade) koji je cijele godine na ljetnom vremenu. Em su zime u Saskatchewanu hladnije nego kod nas, em tamo ima puno više šuma nego u Hrvatskoj; tako da jadni Saskatchewančići stvarno jebu ježa i zimi kad se pogube u šumi ×D

U svem tom džumbusu s pomicanjem sata, samo mi jedna stvar nikako nije jasna. Mkay, noćas su vlakovi stajali sat vremena da bi se vozni red uskladio sa zimskim vremenom. Ali šta rade na proljeće?! 😮 Ubrzaju sve da bi nadoknadili jedan sat?! Molim službeno objašnjenje iz HŽ-a 😀


Objavljeno 30. 10. 2016. godine prijepodne u 11:38

Sony VAIO laptops

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A week ago I bought a Sony VAIO laptop, so to save people their mental health, I’m gonna write a few pointers.

Accessing BIOS

Okay, okay, I spent virtually half a day trying to access BIOS. In the end, I brought the laptop back to the store because I couldn’t access BIOS. Well, accessing BIOS is pretty simple once you know what to do. We used a method with a lot of clicking to access BIOS in the store. It can be accessed much simpler than that.

If your laptop is running, turn it off. Once it is turned off, instead of pressing the turn on/off button, press the ASSIST button. It is located right across the turn on/off button on my model (SVE1113M1EW) and “ASSIST” is written in pink.

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Click on the image to enlarge it.

You start VAIOCare|Rescue Mode that way. Once the mode loads, press F2 to start BIOS.

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Now, the only reason I use BIOS is to change boot priority. Like accessing BIOS itself, setting the priority is quite simple once you know what to do. Go to Boot tab in BIOS (use arrows on the keyboard to move around…). Now, in every other BIOS I’ve worked with, it’s enough to just change boot priority to external device if you want to boot system from an external device. In Sony VAIO BIOS, however, you have to enable external device boot first. Anyway, just make sure that External Device Boot is Enabled under Boot Configuration and then set boot priority as you wish.

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Click on the image to enlarge it.

Divers

If your VAIO came with a preinstalled Windows, do not reinstall it or change Windows because you’ll probably go through a nightmare finding drivers.

This is my story:
I went throughout the city in search for the cheapest option for a minilaptop. That led me to Sony VAIO SVE1113M1EW, The laptop comes with preinstalled Windows 8. Preinstalled means that you get the operating system with no disk and no product key which means you are stuck with that installation and can’t reinstall the system when a need arouses. That is why I bought Windows 7 (cheaper than Windows 8, and unlike Windows 8, Windows 7 is an operating system for computers). When I asked in the store whether I can install Windows 7 on the thingy, vendors were all like “sure thing”. Anyway, once I had bought the laptop (and spent ages to start BIOS 😉 ), I installed the Windows I bought. Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find most of the drivers. I spent two days searching for them. I asked for help. We went to the deepest bowls of the Internet and only managed to install the missing LAN driver. We came across a text on Sony website that my model cannot be downgraded to Windows 7 (yes, after a week of vendors telling me that I can install Windows 7 with no trouble). Well, I took the thing back to the store and told them I can’t find the drivers. That’s when they told me SVE1113M1EW can’t be downgraded to Windows 7 (a way Microsoft and partners are forcing people to use Windows 8…). Luckily, I bought the Windows at the same store, so they couldn’t explain to me why I’d spend €120* if I had known, the thing wouldn’t work.
In the end, they returned my VAIO with Windows 7 and all the drivers. They did not give me the drivers on CD or another disk though. However, with the help of Device Manager and Programs and Features in Control Panel, I think I managed to download all the drivers. Well, let’s just hope I’ll never have to find out… even though I bought the Windows only to be able to reinstall it.

All in all, do not remove the preinstalled Windows. At least not without finding and downloading the drivers first.

As for other operating systems, I’m not sure. Linux usually detects the hardware and installs the necessary drivers in no time. I can’t vouch for every Linux distribution, but Knoppix had no trouble with the hardware of my VAIO. That is, it recognized wireless network adapter right away and I was able to connect to my modem in no time.

So far I am quite stasfied with my VAIO. There’s only one thing I don’t like (two things depending how you look at it/them), other than the living nightmares called BIOS and drivers 😉 The touchpad is way too sensetive while the keyboard is barely sensetive.

*Generally, I don’t like to talk about prices outside my own country. The price I wrote is a rounded conversion of the local currency. In addition, the “value” of the dollar varies a lot throughout the world. For example, I heard that 0.25L of bear costs £3 in the UK. British find that acceptable (otherwise British pubs would be empty 😉 ). £3 for a 0.25L bottle of bear is quite a lot here.  I don’t drink bear so I don’t know the exact price of bear here. I think 0.25L of bear costs around 4 HRK (≈ £0.4) here. Well, £3 is just too much for us 😀 Another good example is that throughout most of Africa, you can buy a 160 m² 4 bedroom flat for only a few hundred euros. On the other hand, an average African can hardly come by €1.
Suffice it to say, €120 is no small amount of money here, especially for an operating system.

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Pokémon GO

Zadnjih tjedan dana svijetom vlada euforija skupljanja pokemona. I jednostavno mi ne možete reći da i vas nije zahvatila, pogotovo ne nakon službenog izlaska Pokemon GOa u Lijepoj Našoj. Ne, jednostavno vam ne vjerujem ako kažete da ih ne skupljate. Mkay, možda ipak spadate u manjinu čovječanstva (ajde, vlasnika Android i iOS uređaja) koje ih ne skuplja, ali kakve su vjerojatnosti za to? 🙂

U biti, htjedoh se malo osvrnuti na bljezgarije u tekstu Nemojte umisliti da ste kreativni jer igrate Pokemone. Oni su isto što i turska sapunica. Svaka čast autorici i njenoj kolumni. Njen tekst Smrtni grijeh Željke Markić je jednom riječju SAVRŠENSTVO 😀 Ali kad je riječ o pokemonima, odnosno Pokemon GOu, vidi se da igru nije ni pokrenula, ali je jako pametna.

Znači, priča kaže sledeće:

Već se u samom naslovu vidi da priča pizdarije. Nitko, ali baš nitko nije rekao da je igranje Pokemon GOa kreativno, nego da je prednost igre u tome da potiče na kretanje. Em kretanje i kreativnost nisu isto, em time što je navedena jedna prednost nije rečeno da igra nema nikakvih mana. Iskreno, ne znam otkud je izvukla kreativnost. Koji idiot je rekao da je igra u kojoj više-manje sve dobiješ na pladnju kreativna?!

Nakon pročitanih članka o dječaku odnosno djevojci koji su na različitim mjestima i u različito vrijeme nastradali na identičan način – igrajući Pokemon Go, sanjala sam kako provaljujem u skladište Caritasa u potrazi za igračkama Pokemon koje sam (u stvarnosti) poklonila prije par godina, unatoč nećkanju mog mlađeg djeteta.“- ne, za te nezgode nije kriva igra, nego “dječak i djevojka”. Isto tako za nijednu nesreću tijekom igranja Pokemona nije kriva igra (osim ako ti aplikacija nije pokvarila mob) nego igrači, odnosno levati koji ili previše ozbiljno shvaćaju igru ili se previše zadube u nju. Najlakše je okriviti drugog, pogotovo kad taj drugi ni nije čovjek, nego jedna “sotonska” igra, ali ne. Ljudi su napravili tu igru, ljudi je igraju, ljudi su svjesna bića, a ne igra; odnosno čovjek treba paziti, a ne igra koja je namijenjena za zabavu (na 99% video igara se zarađuje kao i 99% drugih oblika zabave, tako da u tom pogledu Pokemoni nisu ništa posebno; ni legići nisu besplatni pa nisam čuo za “LEGO krajnji cilj” 😮 ).

Dakle, igrajmo se, ali budimo takvih stvari svjesni. Kad su u pitanju naša maloljetna djeca, budimo dvostruko svjesni. I prometa, zlonamjernih ljudi, ovisnosti i gubitka privatnosti. – a šta će šmrkavcu pametnjaković od mobitela ili tableta?!

Naime, kako stoji u hrvatskoj inačici vodiča: “Pokémoni se najčešće pojavljuju na frekventnim lokacijama – parkovima, popularnim turističkim odredištima, šoping-centrima, benzinskim postajama.” Divljina i seoski ambijent im baš ne prijaju, osim u slučaju koji ću spomenuti na kraju osvrta. – ovo je najveći misteriji! Ma kako to da su naseljeni prostori najbolje pokriveni GPS-om?! I to kako baš nas Hrvate zadesi ovakva nesreća?! Skandinavci su sigurno prekrili cijelu Laponiju. Jebeš ti i Stockholm, i Göthebourg i Malmö i Oslo i Bergen i Helsinki i Turku, kad međedi u Laponiji trebaju GPS do špilje!

Inače, zadnjih nekoliko dana su pokemoni bili tema vodećih hrvatskih informativnih portala Sprdexa i News Bara 🙂 Evo nekoliko novosti vezanih za pokemone:

Iz Slavonije za Njemačku otišla puna tri autobusa Pokémona
Vlada pronašla način kako zadržati mlade u zemlji: Kupujemo milijun Pokemona!
NIKAD VIĐENO: Penzioner se u tramvaju vozio uz otvorene prozore (uzrok “nikad viđenog” je onix)
Policija ulovila 8 rijetkih Pokémona u Donjem Srbu
USKOK izbacio Kradémon GO: Ulovi sve HDZ-ovce i pošalji ih u Remetinec

P.S. MORAŠ SKUPIT SVE! 😀


Objavljeno 18. VII. 2016. poslijepodne u 5:12

Brexit

It’s been over a week since Britain’s “historic” vote to leave the EU and I’ve been reading shit about Brexit (Brexit Vol. I, of course 😉 ) on local, British and international portals, so I’m gonna say a few words about it.

I’ll start the post by saying that I’ve never understood Euroscepticism. I simply don’t understand how people don’t realize that only a united Europe has any chance of survival in the global world. I mean, even the biggest European countries like Germany and France (and the UK) are nothing alone compared to the USA, Russia, China… True, colonial influence of former colonial powers like France, Spain (and the UK) is still present, but it’s gradually being extinguished and not being part of the EU ain’t gonna stop the process or make it any slower. We’re living in the 21st century for God’s sake! And now… Seeing what repercussions Brexit caused both at home and abroad in just a few hours after the results of the referendum, a referendum that hasn’t even been ratified by the British parliament yet; Eurosceptics actually think Brexit has worked in their favour (as can be seen in appeals of “Frexit”, “Nexit”, and whatever other “exit”)… No offence people (Eurosceptics), but you’re just idiots.

What gets on my nerves is the EU saying that the will of the British people has to be respected. What will is that?! The results were in favour of leave by meagre 2%! If the referendum was held a few hours earlier or later, it’s possible that the results would be in favour of remain by meagre 2%! On top of that, the UK is a complexed… kingdom made of 4 countries and many territories. Out of those 4 countries, just 2 – England and Wales – voted to leave and the only British territory within the EU (i.e. Gibraltar) voted overwhelmingly to remain (more than 90%!). In addition, despite being in England, London voted overwhelmingly to remain. The other day I asked a guy in Star Wars: The Old Republic where he was from. He said the UK. Then I asked him what country and he said the Republic of London 😀 Most of those who did vote leave were old farts living in the 1950s (or before) who don’t give a shit about anyone, but themselves and couldn’t care less how people are going to live when they’re dead (which ain’t in a distant future). Now, I don’t want to insult old people. I know there are many honourable elderly man and women who care about future generations and those very likely did not vote leave but, sadly, the above described selfishness is a typical “pensioner” behaviour. And now that selfishness has taken toll the British (youth). So tell me again, what was the will of the British people?! In addition, leave campaigners won their votes on lies as has been admitted by that asshole Nigel Farage only hours after the results came in.

Another thing that really gets on my nerves is influential EU people, like the Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy or the French president François Hollande saying that Scotland has no right to remain in the EU because they “came with the UK and the must leave with the UK”. It simply eludes me how they can’t put their imperialistic views aside for just a moment in the spirit of European unity. And Scotland (and Gibraltar and Northern Ireland) have every right to remain in the EU. Guess Rajoy, Hollande and their kind should be remind of the Danish Realm, which is made of Denmark, Faroe Islands and Greenland. Only Denmark is an EU member. It’s interesting that Greenland was an EU member, but voted to leave while Denmark remained in the EU. In other words, “Greenland came with Denmark and left on its own”. So couldn’t the same rule be applied to the UK?! England and Wales voted to leave; others did not. Another good example is Finland. Upon joining the EU, two separate referendums were held in Finland – one on the mainland and the other on Åland Islands. The results of both referendums were in favour of joining the EU, but if one of those (especially the one in Åland) wasn’t in favour of joining, either Åland or mainland Finland wouldn’t be part of the EU.

I would like to apologize in advance to Brits who might find my following words as “mingling” in their internal affairs. Actually, screw you, no one is forcing you to read this post, let alone do a shit about it 😛
So what can the UK do to keep the territorial integrity? I think the smartest thing for the UK would be to drop the whole thing because the referendum isn’t obligatory and because of the “first thing that goes on my nerves” 😉 Another option is for England and Wales to leave the EU and for Gibraltar, Scotland and Northern Ireland to remain. True, the remain vote won meagrely in Northern Ireland just as the leave vote won meagrely in the UK as a whole, but Northern Ireland is a special case because of being… well Ireland 😀 It is quite unclear how Brexit is gonna affect the freedom of movement between the Republic of Ireland (an EU member) and Northern Ireland (UK) though I guess diplomacy is going to work its wonders here. Furthermore, despite being divided between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, Ireland was “united” through the EU. Basically, the EU served to appease both the Irish unionists nationalists, but now… In addition, in this case, the British parliament should consider granting London a special status (e.g. like Moscow and St. Petersburg have in Russia) to allow Londoners, who overwhelmingly voted remain, to remain in the EU. That could actually appease many leavers in England and Wales because they themselves wouldn’t be in the EU, but their kingdom would at least partly be in the EU, meaning they’d have some say in the EU, especially if their capital city were in the EU. Finally, the British could hold emergency general elections where there would be parties in favour of adopting the results of the referendum no matter how slim they were and parties in favour of dropping the whole thing. Hopefully, people have come to their senses and can vote clear headedly now.
Alternately, UKIP will go down in history as being a party that hmm… “divided” the United Kingdom and David Cameron will go down in history as a prime minister who made it possible 🙂


Posted on 2nd July 2016 at 11:54 GMT
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Chuck Wendig’s open letter

This is just Chuck Wendig’s open letter in case it gets “misplaced”, so you know what I’m responding to in me Open Letter post. You can read the original letter here.

Note: none of this post represents my publishers or the Star Wars universe, and I have literally no special knowledge or power in this regard. All the opinions below represent me, not Del Rey, not Lucasfilm or Disney. Just little old me.

Hi, Expanded Universe / Legends fans.

It’s me. Your pal, Chuck Wendig.

If your emails and tweets and YouTube videos about me are any indication, you care very little for me, and that’s fine. I wish you’d be a little nicer about it, but hey, you do you.

I wanted you know that I saw that thing you did with the billboard, and really, it’s pretty cool. It got you press. It’s a way to demonstrate what you love in a fairly positive way. It shows the power of crowdfunding. One could argue that you might’ve made the same impression or better if you organized the money to go to charity (Force For Change, after all, is a Star Wars-based charity), but what do I know? Thing is, what you did is pretty nifty and it shows the collective power of an engaged, interested fandom.

I talked about this a bit on Twitter yesterday, and I have been accused now and many times before of somehow being a Legends-hater (also: a prequel-hater, apparently). I don’t hate the prequels and I don’t hate Legends (or what was once the Expanded Universe). I loved Zahn’s novels and Stackpole’s, though I never really read much deeper than that because, well, for me, there were other books to read. I didn’t want to be reading Star Wars novels only, and I was a pretty diverse reader across genres. But some folks were and still are fairly deep into the Legends/EU line of stories, and those are stories that linked books and comics and games in a not-quite-canon-flavored way, and that’s honestly kinda great. I want to tell you that I get it. I understand why you want more. Stories have power over us. Star Wars in particular is a storytelling universe that has really enveloped our own — this is pop culture that has threaded its way into our narrative DNA. It’s part of us. The EU came up at a time when we thought we weren’t getting more Star Wars stories. That universe seemed dead, inert, done-zo, and suddenly here comes the start of a whole new universe of stories. Where once there were three movies, suddenly there were dozens — eventually hundreds — of books. And comics. And games.

That single bulk of narrative material outweighs most other universes. One could argue that it even outweighs what we get with the films, at least in terms of sheer storytelling girth. Some of the books were great. Some of them, nnnyeah, okay, maybe not so great. But it was a huge legacy, a massive obelisk of material, and it was worthy of worship.

And then, it came crashing down.

That universal lineage, that massive branch of the Star Wars storytelling tree — it broke off, fell to the ground, and you feel like Disney woodchipped it and shoved the splinters in a box marked “Legends.” Some books ended up cancelled. Some games, too, maybe even comics. Fade to black, and then the curtain parts again and now there are new movies and new books (ahem, Aftermath), and they either ignore the Expanded Universe stories or they pick ideas and characters from them to use now or later.

I get it. It’s the same feeling when a TV show you love gets canceled (looking at you, Firefly). Or when one of the big comic companies takes an entire universe and ends it, or changes it, or reboots it. Shit, I get pissed when Target stops selling a cereal I like, or I discover that a t-shirt or sneaker I like is discontinued. Sneakers, I mean, shit, if Nike or Reebok release a sneaker and you wear it and you like it, next season that sneaker is already on a burning trashpile in the Pacific Ocean and replaced with the next upgraded model and that model sucks because it’s not the shoe you jolly well fucking liked in the first place, and now your brand loyalty for that company is cut off at the knees because they stopped making the thing you like.

So, let me just say: I support you. I hope you get what you want. I have literally no power to make it happen. And I’m sure they wouldn’t hire me for the job anyway because if they hired me to write the Expanded Universe at least a half-dozen of you would probably burn down Disneyland. But I’m all for more stories in the world, and I’m certainly all for more Star Wars stories. Here’s me. Giving you a thumbs-up with a big smile and a glint of hope in my eye.

But, of course, I have some caveats.

The Caveats

1. If it does happen, I’d expect it to be a limited series. “One last trilogy” sort of thing. Again: I have no insider information in this regard, and I have no reason to believe this is even happening. I’m just saying, if it does happen, I would expect it to take the form of a bone thrown in your direction rather than a revivified Legends directive.

2. It also probably won’t happen at all. You need to prepare yourselves for that. The reasons it probably won’t happen are many. For instance:

a) It takes a lot of ecosystem to fire up a new publishing line, and that’s sort of what’s happening here. It takes staff, it takes money, it takes time out of a publishing schedule. Publishing is slow. It’s already understaffed. I speak from experience. This isn’t a case of JUST FLIP THE SWITCH AND BRING BACK LEGENDS. Mountains need to be moved.

b) Right now, Disney has a pretty sweet thing going, and seeing them switch gears — even temporarily — would surprise me. The new movie did huge numbers. The books are selling well — and despite some who want to assure me that Aftermath did not sell well, it, ahh, it really did. It sold big. It lingered on the bestseller charts. I have a very small royalty percentage compared to my other books (most tie-in work offers you no royalties), and even with that truncated royalty, I just got a royalty check that was bigger than some of my advances. I don’t say that to brag (okay, humblebrag, maybe), but just to clarify: the book sold well and continues to sell well even now. So, it’s hard imagining why Disney would have interest in suddenly returning to stories that don’t connect to the larger narrative.

c) That larger narrative is actually part of the problem for Legends — it’s quite a big deal that, at present, everything coming out regarding Star Wars is connected. That’s not true really with anything else, I don’t believe, at least not at this scale. It is all, relatively-speaking, “canon.” To suddenly introduce these other stories that aren’t connected opens Disney up to branding confusion. People yelling at them on social about how they thought Han and Leia had only one kid and is Rey actually Jaina and wait is Kylo and the Knights of Ren in these books and HOLD UP IS MARA JADE REY’S MOM. You’re fans, so you understand the difference. But the average reader doesn’t see the difference. They have a limited view of canon and think that if they pick up a new Star Wars book it’ll probably connect to the movies or the other new books. When that fails, that creates disappointment.

d) It bears repeating: Disney probably wants to avoid branding confusion. At all costs. At least until all the movies are out and that part of the story has been told.

e) You may not have the numbers to demonstrate support for the continuation of Legends. The Indiegogo campaign had 146 backers and raised $4,784. No small feat and really cool. But 146 people is not enough to support a line of books. And 1,146 people isn’t enough. And maybe, 11,146 people wouldn’t do it, either. They want to sell 100,000 copies of a book.

f) A lot of “fan-demanded” projects actually don’t earn out. Serenity eventually made it on DVD, but in the theater, was a bomb. When a TV show comes back based on fan demand, it often ends up getting canceled again anyway because the reality is, core fandom isn’t enough to support big meaty narrative universes. Fandom by its nature represents the most excited members, sure, but most big properties thrive on non-fans — people who don’t want to read 100 other books to understand this one they just bought. Narrower, niche properties can live on the support of fandom. But Star Wars is not a narrow, niche property.

3. If it doesn’t happen, I might encourage you to summon peace with that reality. There does come a point when your energy can best be spent elsewhere. Share your love with other great stories, even if they’re not inside Star Wars. This isn’t me smacking your hand and saying JUST GET OVER IT, LOSERS. But it is vital to recognize the reality that you neither own nor control this stuff, and you still have hundreds of great Legends stories that you can still enjoy. That’s huge. And I know it’s not fair, but life is frequently full of unfair things and part of our skillset as human beings is how we inoculate ourselves against disappointment.

4. Also, hey, you can sorta take ownership and control of the Legends continuity through the power of fan-fiction. Fan-fiction informed me and I don’t look down it. Nor should anybody. It’s a great way to be creative and also continue exploring a narrative universe that either left you behind or you left behind. It allows you to continue engagement with that world. So rad.

The Final Caveat

Many of you are nice and passionate. Thanks for being fans — if not of mine or my work, then of Star Wars in general. It’s a universe under a big, big tent. That’s a good thing.

Sometimes, though, in fandom, passion becomes tainted — shot through with the sepsis of frustration. And further, sometimes fandom attracts people who are, mmm, maybe not the finest specimens of humanity, and when that happens, harassment occurs. As it has occurred amongst the Bring Back Legends movement.

You need to get your house in order.

What I mean is, harassment is not a good way to get what you want. It is, in fact, a very good way to be dismissed. It is a great way to be seen as bullies. And nobody wants to give you more Legends if the way you get it has been by protracted campaigns of harassment or even by rogue members of your campaigns and Facebook groups demonstrating very bad behavior. Some other fans who operate fansites have felt harassed and bullied (for instance: this post at Tosche Station). I’ve seen it in person. I’ve seen it online. I’ve seen what happens at the Star Wars Books public Facebook page (and whoever runs that page has the patience of the saint and is hopefully paid a merciful six figures). Threats to spoil The Force Awakens came out of an Expanded Universe group. This is not unknown. It is real.

I know I’ve been on the end of harassment — not just for the content of Aftermath but sometimes because I am somehow held responsible for having ended the EU, or because I’m not Timothy Zahn or because I supposedly hate Legends, or, or, or. I get emails. People tweet angrily at me every week. I get hate and harassment flooded in my direction just because I wrote a book. It’s not awesome, and it’s certainly not endearing. The public relations manager of the Indiegogo campaign for the billboard made this video about me, which — *whistles* — I don’t even know what to say about that except I hope he’s okay. It is not his only video of… dubious content.

It’s not fun. It’s not funny. It’s harmful to your cause and to the victims who endure. And I know that it’s #NotAllLegendsFans, but that doesn’t really salve the sting of harassment that both fans and professionals have felt.

I hope you get more books. Sincerely. I cheer you on. More stories is more goodness.

I also hope some of you stop your worst behaviors and your worst members. Because they have dominated this conversation and poisoned your efforts from within. It’s time to grow up and be better. Demonstrate your desires with love and outreach, not hate and spite. Even if that doesn’t get you what you want, it at least keeps the slate clean and ensures that nobody feels harassed.

Best of luck.

Comments, sharing and liking are disabled for this post because, as I said, this is just the open letter I’m referring to in me Open letter post.

HRTi

Occasionally a good movie (like Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings 😀 ) is airing on Croatian Radio-Television (cro. Hrvatska radiotelevizija – HRT).

The point is that most foreign programming on Croatian TV is subtitled (exceptions are shows for children, which are usually dubbed, and documentaries and foreign news, which are usually voice-overred). That being said, you can enjoy a good movie (maybe a good series 😮 ) as long as you understand the original lingo. Since, they’re mostly in English anyway, as long as you understand this post, you’re good to watch movies on Croatian TV 😉 All you need outside Croatia is either a satellite dish able to receive Croatian channels …or a stream 😀

The only problem with subtitles in Croatia, and other “subtitling” countries I guess, is that subtitles of the main language are sometimes removed when a “foreign” lingo appears in a show. For example, there are no English subtitles for Old Norse, Old English and Old French (and another lingo that might appear) in Vikings, a favourite show of mine.

Well, I don’t know about other channels, but there is a (legal) stream of HRT (1, 2, 3, 4 of which HRT4 is a news channel, so you won’t be interested in that one; while you’re likely to like HRT3 very much if you’re a lover of classic movies because they usually run on HRT3 …at least I think so 😀 ). Of course, if you find a stream of another Croatian channel (Bosnian, Serbian and/or Slovenian will also do 😀 ), do tell me 🙂 Anyway, streams of HRT are available on HRTi. If you had already clicked on the link, you noticed that the page, and most importantly the (free) registration, is in Croatian. I’m gonna tell you how to register and watch the streams.

So… go to hrti.hrt.hr. Click on PRIJAVA in top right corner.
screeny01

NOTE A message HRTi koristi kolačiće (eng. cookies) kako bi vam pružio bolje korisničko iskustvo. Nastavkom pregleda stranice slažete se sa korištenjem kolačića. Pročitajte više! might appear when you’re on HRTi. That’s HRTi politely informing you that the site uses cookies. Just click Zatvori obavijest in the red box.

Now, see Niste registrirani? Registrirajte se besplatno? Click on Registrirajte se.

prijava

The registration form is going to appear.

registration_formFields marked with * must be filled. Enter your name in Ime, enter your surname in Prezime, your email address in Email and the password you’d like to use for HRTi in Lozinka.
If you’re a guy check Muško and Žensko if you’re a gal. Enter your date of birth in Datum rođenja.
EXPLANATION OF THE DATE OF BIRTH: When you click on Datum rođenja, a calendar is going to pop up.
calendarClick on veljača or whatever to get the list of the months (siječanj – January, veljača – February, ožujak – March, travanj – April, svibanj – May, lipanj – June, srpanj – July, kolovoz – August, rujan – September, listopad – October, studeni – November, prosinac – December). Click on Odaberite godinu! to get the list of years. Click on a number in the calendar to select the day.
Click Hrvatska to open a drop-down menu to choose your country. Most countries in Croatian have either a name similar to their international name (e.g. Austria is Austrija) or to their native name (e.g. Hungary is Mađarska, somewhat similar to Hungarian name of Magyarország). If you can’t find your country on the list, just enter your country name into Google Translate and tell Google to translate into Croatian or go to Wikipedia or whatever. Actually, you might wanna do that before search for a country just to save time 😉 United States of America does differ a lot and I guess you Yanks are likely to be reading this post, and thus trying HRTi. Anyway, United States (of America) are Sjedinjene (Američke) Države (SAD) 😀 Grad is city/town (just enter the closest bigger city to you).
You can also enter your address (in Adresa) and ZIP code (in Poštanski broj).
Before proceeding check Nisam robot and Prihvaćam uvjete korištenja HRTi usluge.
Now just click Registrirajte se in the red box. A message to check your email will pop up, so now you check your e-mail 😀
Find an e-mail Potvrdite vašu e-mail adresu from HRTi Korisnička služba <hrtiregistracija@hrt.hr> (check your spam if you don’t find the email in your inbox), open it and scroll down to Potvrdi your@email.com in a red box. Click on it.
emailHRTi will open in your browser, telling you you’re registered. You’re done.

When you go to hrti.hr.hr now, click on PRIJAVA again if you’re not logged in; enter your email in Upišite Vaš email and your password in Upišite Vašu lozinku. Then click on PRIJAVA in the red box.

Now to move your mouse over UŽIVO in the top left corner. A drop-down menu with the list of channels is going to appear. Choose, say HRT2 and a screen like this should appear:

screenyXX

I guess you should be able to navigate the player. To log out, just move the mouse over your name in top right corner where PRIJAVA used to be (it says MARKO in my case) and click Odjava.

I guess I should say that Croatia is in Central European Time Zone, meaning that prime time is either sometime between 19:00 GMT and 22:00 GMT or sometime between between 18:00 GMT and 21:00 GMT depending on DST. DST in Europe starts on the last Sunday of March and ends on the last Sunday of October (since it’s February now, DST is off and the bold prime time is currently in effect 😀 ). True, the stream is a few minutes behind, but that’s negligible.

Enjoy!

P.S. Note that some programming, including a movie now and then might be encoded.


Posted on 21st February 2016 at 00:30 GMT
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