coraa: (geek girl (uhura))
Word from the laptop shop is that while I may be able to find a fan for my laptop "eventually," I am not going to find one in the "next few months" timeframe. I think that means it's time to give it up as a lost cause, as I can't go that long without a laptop of my own.

That being said, I don't want to go into debt to get a new full-fledged laptop (where by 'full-fledged' I mean 'able to play The Sims 3 and Final Fantasy 14'). So I think what I'll do is get a netbook now, and save up for a new "permanent" laptop later.

So: I would love to hear your recommendations on netbooks!

For my purposes (and please, if this doesn't meet your/the Internet/slashdot/whoever's definition, you don't need to edumacate me because I don't care), a netbook is a laptop, usually small in dimensions, on which I can do basic word processing and access the Internet, but that does not have a huge onboard hard drive, lots of RAM, a beefy video card, etc. I have other borrowable computers for the occasions that I absolutely need something with more processing power, and a NAS RAID array for storage. Basically, I want something that I can write on and use to browse the web, and slip into my backpack for on-the-go writing, and that's it.

I am looking to pay $400 or less including tax and shipping. That means an approximate max of $350 shelf price.

I would prefer something with Windows 7, but it can be cheapo Windows 7 Home or Starter. (I am familiar in that 'broken-in jeans and sneakers' way with Windows, and Linux and Mac are like stiff uncomfortable work clothes with new high-heel shoes to me. I can live with them if necessary, but I'd rather not.) It must, however, have a keyboard; that is, I am not looking for a tablet.

[livejournal.com profile] vom_marlowe had good things to say about the Dell Inspiron netbook series, and I've had good luck with Dell in general. I've also used [livejournal.com profile] ceph's eeePC for some time, happily. But I'd be happy to hear other people's experience.
coraa: (i'm a tiger!)
What's your favorite program/utility/doohicky/whatsit for un-rar-ing .rar files?

How about .tar.gz files?

Parameters: I'm running Windows 7 and prefer not to open a command line just to extract files. Free or inexpensive please.

EDIT: 7zip looks like it fits my requirements quite well, so I'm going with that. Thank you, everyone!
coraa: (food love)
I have a pumpkin, a butternut squash, and two celebration squash (similar in flavor to acorn squash, a little bit smoother- and harder-fleshed). I ought to do something with them.

I have already made squash soup and pumpkin chili, and have them in the freezer for later, so would prefer not to repeat. (Although if you have a squash-based soup that's different than the usual "mildly spiced, mildly creamy pureed soup" type, that would be welcome.)

What do you like to do with winter squash?
coraa: (history)
I know a number of you are knowledgeable at fabrics, fabric preservation, and textile history, so I pose this question to you:

One of my wedding presents, from my mother's parents, was a vintage crazy quilt. This quilt was made in 1887 by my great-great-grandmother: it's a beautiful crazy quilt, decorated with embroidery. (Among the embroidered flowers, leaves, butterflies, and abstract patterns, there are a cross, a Star of David, and a crescent moon and star. I guess great-great-grandmother Anne Eliza was an early multiculturalist, or something! Or, well, she copied the patterns from somewhere—still.) I am very honored and very lucky, of course, that my grandmother chose to give it to me, and it's very important to me both as a piece of family history and as a beautiful old quilt.

Anyway. The quilt is in excellent condition, apart from some small sections of shattered silk (which I understand is pretty common for silk of the period). It's not badly faded or falling-apart fragile, and can be gently handled. It's also very clean, so I don't need to worry about that.

I would like to keep it in that condition! (Ideally, I'll be able to pass this on to my own children/grandchildren.) So that's my first question: what should I do to keep this quilt in good condition? I'm going to assume that protection from humidity, UV and moths are high up there on the List of Things to Pay Attention To, but I'm no expert.

Second: if possible to do so without badly damaging the quilt, I'd love to be able to display it. I was thinking of displaying it on the wall in the bedroom, which is a fairly dim room to begin with (it's positioned such that it gets almost no direct sunlight) and which has a section of wall that's high enough up that it would be safe from cats. This is secondary because, if displaying it in a way that will protect it is beyond my budget (for instance, if I'd need to get it framed with UV-protective glass, which I imagine would cost a pretty penny), I'll store it in a way that protects it less expensively for now, and save up for the display in the future.

I am more than willing to do research of my own—I just know nothing about the subject and don't know how to start. Pointers to resources are more than welcome! (And if the answer is 'take it to an expert,' then help figuring out how to find a reputable expert would also be welcome.)

I'll take pictures of the quilt to show later (I want to get it in natural light), but I wanted to get the ball rolling on figuring out the best way to preserve it now.
coraa: (carmen sandiego)
I have a reason for this inquiry, which will be explained in the fullness of time!

I'm looking for suggestions of books with unreliable narrators where the narrator is female (besides Larbalestier's Liar, which I've already got in mind). I'd prefer speculative or historical fiction, but if you have a great example from another genre, by all means share it.

Secondarily, I'd love suggestions of books prominently featuring female liars (or con artists) regardless of whether they're unreliable narrators. Again, speculative or historical fiction preferred, but great examples from other genres would be useful too.

The books don't necessarily have to be good, for what it's worth.

([livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija and [livejournal.com profile] sartorias and I tried to think of examples in the car, but with limited success.)
coraa: (history - very few dates)
I read the Tale of Genji by Murasaki for a Japanese history course in college, and didn't absorb much of it (I was reading fast, in that way where you do when you have 1500 pages of reading assigned per week) but liked what I did absorb very much. I'd like to reread it, but I know enough from my medieval lit readings to know that translation choice can be critical.

So I ask the wisdom of LJ/DW: what translation would you recommend for this work?

On balance I prefer a clear prose style to an ornate one, but I prefer an accurate translation above all. I don't mind footnotes, and I can deal with denseness (ie, by "clear" I don't necessarily mean "oversimplified.")

(If you want to refer someone else to this post for suggestions, please do!)
coraa: (geek girl (uhura))
I currently use iTunes to manage my music and podcasts, because it's handy for syncing with my iPhone and iPod.*

One of the things that iTunes does, apparently in an attempt to help, is to mark songs that aren't actually play-able and autoskip them in the future. Unfortunately, if a song exists on the network but I open iTunes when the network is temporarily unavailable (say, I'm away from home at a coffee shop, or the wireless router is being bad), it flags all the songs on my network storage device as 'unavailable' and autoskips them in the future.

This is, then, inconvenient when I return to my network and want to play them, and my playlists autoskip all my songs. I can force it to relocate the songs by manually selecting them to play, but manually playing all 900+ songs that it has helpfully flagged as unavailable is, uh, also inconvenient.

If I remove all the songs from my iTunes media library and then re-add them, it forgets the 'this song doesn't exist' flag and plays them correctly, but that's both time-consuming and annoying.

Is there any way to tell iTunes to forget all its 'this song doesn't exist!' flags? Or else to force a refresh of the iTunes media library without removing and re-adding all my files? Does anyone know?

* - That means that if your advice is the oh-so-clever 'don't use iTunes,' you are advised to keep it to yourself. With the exception of this one irritant, I'm pretty happy with it.

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