May. 29th, 2008

heron61: (Default)
My external hard drive has suddenly ceased showing up in any fashion. The only sign of life is that the light still comes on when I plug it in, but that's the limit of its functionality. So, might there be some way of remedying this problem or should I assume the drive is dead and acquire a new one? Both of my computer's USB ports function normally for other devices, and the USB to miniUSB cable on the drive also works fine on other devices.

Edit: The drive mysteriously started working after a 2nd reboot of the computer. Should I assume this was a random glich, or is this likely a sign that the drive will fail soon?
heron61: (Default)
I recently finished Charles Stross' latest novel Halting State. It was a significant departure from my typical reading fare – my preferences run to settings are typically as far removed from the present day as possible, with a special interest in well-done modern space opera. This is anything but that – it's a near future detective thriller set 9 years in the future. It's worth noting that it's set in a remarkably believable future – personal electronics are significantly more advanced, gas prices are significantly higher, the EU and China are two of the major world powers, and on the surface society looks much like it does today. I'd be honestly surprised if 2017 doesn't look much like Stross depicts.

In any case, it's both an unusual and an excellent novel. Unusual in that it's one of the very few novels that I've ever read that was written exclusively in second person. This rather odd choice actually works exceptionally well in that it helps ground the reader in the characters and setting and reinforces the feeling of familiarity. It's perhaps also worth noting that despite the fact that I'm never played an MMORPG and the book has a great deal to do with them (the plot starts off with the local police being called in to deal with the robbery of a bank in an MMORPG), I loved the book. The characters are excellent, the plot is suitably complex and twisty while still making perfect sense, and I highly recommend it and consider it one of Stross' best works.

As a largely unrelated sidenote, it's rather odd writing a review of a book knowing that the author reads my lj - such is the future we live in now.

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