New Computer

I just bought a new computer. Should be arriving in a week or so. Probably more money than I ought to have spent — but then again, I can (kind of) afford it, and this one is getting a bit obsolete. Ah, who the hell am I kidding? This new computer should be able to run Oblivion, and that’s what really matters. I say “should” because, in my experience, you can never be sure — but still, it’s got a 2.4 GHz processor, 2 MB of RAM, and an NVIDIA 8800 GTS video card. If it can’t run Oblivion, well, I give up. This will be the fanciest computer I have ever owned, even though I did pass up Vista. I hope it works out well. A lot of money to throw at a toy (even if it is a toy I use for work).
My goal is to use as much free software and open source stuff as possible. Firefox for the browser, Avast! as the virus protection, and OpenOffice as my word processor. Let’s see how that works out. Must be the socialist in me, but it doesn’t seem like you should need to pay extra to surf the web, be safe doing so, and write a book. Any other suggestions of free and useful software I can use? (Oh, yeah, iTunes, too, if that counts).


6 Responses to “New Computer”

  1. Foxit Reader’s a great, light, easy-to-use pdf reader, so that you’ll never have to use that bloated Adobe Reader again. Also, you didn’t mention a firewall…Zone Alarm Free works pretty well. (I’m a big believer in this open source stuff, too…I have a whole list of things I could suggest, though how much of it is really necessary and not just playing around is debatable.)

    Songbird is an open source media player like iTunes, though it’s not yet in the 1.0 phase, and so it’s very buggy. But maybe soon it’ll be a good alternative.

  2. PS–There’s also a promising new suite of open-source programs for creative types of all stripes about to emerge. It’s called Aviary…hasn’t launched yet, but the products it will offer include desktop publishing and word processing, image and animation editors, music editors, video editors, the whole works.

    There’s a Q&A-style blog post on the project here:

    It looks very cool.

  3. Christine Says:

    There’s a reason I call my computer “Christine’s Bookkeeping Toy”…Did I ever suceed in figuring out Quicken?…nope.

  4. I just want to say that Postmodern Magic (PoMo) is the best contemporary book on magic that I have read so far. I was prompted to actually write and tell you this because I am an addict of RPGs like Oblivion (which I play on the XBOX 360) and its predecessor Morrowind. At present, I’m going back to the roots and playing Baldur’s Gate (BG) with the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion. But before I get any dorkier with the computer games, I can connect this to how you’ve helped me with PoMo. For example, I got this “inspiration” on waking for a character name. I have been playing that character in Morrowind, Oblivion, and BG. You probably know why I love those gameworlds and symbolically what they represent. After reading PoMo, I realized that my character’s name is my magical name — at least now. I love saying it and I feel authority when I do, which had been one of my weaker points in practicing magic when I have encountered some scary stuff.

    I started researching magic about 2 years ago for a novel I am writing. I have found through my research that I have been intuitively practicing magic all my life. I have had all kinds of results and I have, as you can guess, made numerous mistakes…When I began my research, I did not intend to take magic seriously; however, I am a native mage, so I was relieved to find that out. Most of the books written are prescriptive, and pretty much full of shit which requires intense sifting to get out the relevant bits scattered here and there in the new age gooey muck. Your work is substantial, clear, truthful, honest and open-ended rather than dogmatic and asinine. It’s pretty damn good and straight without the hype, hokiness, and falseness much of the other stuff seems to be. (But I did get a lot out of Practical Sigil Magic by Frater UD).

    You are both articulate and well-educated and what you have said regarding the symbolic nature of the universe resonated with what I have found to be true on my own and from Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, Heinrich Zimmer, JRR Tolkien, the Matrix, etc. I truly respect your candor in admitting areas that you do not understand or cannot be sure of. To me, that enhances the veracity of what you say.

    Further off topic, yet germane — have you heard of Salvia Divinorum? If so, I would love to discuss it with you. It relates directly to HGAs, I believe.

  5. Hey, Pecca, while you interested in this open source stuff, take a look at Portable Apps ( I use this so I can carry around my favorite apps around on my USB and don’t ever have to worry about being “stuck” with whatever is available on the computer in front of me. It also is a great way to carry around one’s calender (though I’ve retrograded into using a pen/paper calender), bookmarks and important documents.

  6. It’s interesting isn’t it how people think that other people’s labor should be free, ie. work in designing and writing software, but your own work has much value and should be sold to the highest bidder. So are your books going to be “opensource” anytime soon? It’s not just you, but most other souls. Just something to think about. Afterall people do spend lots of time creating bitchin’ software. Why should it be free?

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