East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Goodbye Ubuntu, welcome Mint

And so this morning my PC refused to start. It took about half an hour to get it going with an emergency disk, and it turned out my Ubuntu system was completely crippled.
It was possible to save the data, but everything else was gone – time to re-install the operating system.

Now, this is not a tragedy, actually, it’s more of an opportunity – I have been postponing the necessary updates to my OS for weeks now, and really, had I waited for the right moment – a free afternoon, no urgent work to do, no pending projects, I would have never done it.
But necessity pushes everything out of the way – I need my PC to work.

And this is also a great opportunity to move away from Ubuntu, that I love dearly but has become bloated and slow, and to try a different distro of Linux, to wit, Linux Mint.

And here I am, six hours later, exploring this different-but-familiar environment. Everything seems to work fine, my PC is faster and so far the only problem is getting Scrivener to work properly.
But I’ll work on it.
A minor catastrophe turned into a nice opportunity.


Playing fast and loose in Younger Dryas

Back when I was still working as a researcher in university, I was asked once how I managed to “reconcile” my research papers with the science fiction, fantasy and horror stories I was publishing at the time. My reply being, of course, that I credited my readers with the modicum amount of intelligence needed to tell the difference between a paper on Miocene rocks and a story about a guy working part-time as a vampire hunter.

I also added that, if it is perfectly fine for a geologist to do research and then play piano in a jazz band or cook for his friends on the weekend, why should it be different were he a storyteller instead of a pianist or a barbecue maverick?

On the other hand, I guess some of the reading I’ve done recently for research purposes might really get me in trouble with my (now former) colleagues. It’s all about the Younger Dryas cold spell, and it makes for both fascinating science and great storytelling.

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