|"Science Fiction Brewed Fresh Daily"
Date: September 2009
Issue No. 67
Backup...BackUp...BACKUP! It's time to backup your computer's harddrive.
If you do nothing else this year on your computer than read your email, you still need
to back it up!
This month the Intel based Apple computers are able to upgrade to Snow Leopard, the newest available operating sytem. Late next month PCs will be able to upgrade to Windows 7. Before you consider doing either upgrade, be sure you have a current backup of at least your data and personal settings. If you can, do a full backup of the entire harddrive.
Of course, not everyone is ready to jump to the latest and greatest 'puter software or hardware. You still need to have a backup available. What if the harddrive dies? Can you afford to lose your email attachments, pictures, music... or your term paper? Worse, can you afford to have data recovery services retrieve that data for you?
All SF General and O*W*C chats will now be held in our Web chatroom at:
For news and information about Web chat, visit our site at:
New SF books for January 2009
FLASHFORWARD - Robert J. Sawyer
TWILIGHT ZONE - Carol Serling
CITY OF FIRE - Laurence Yep
THE GHOST QUARTET - ed. Marvin Kaye
ARMOR OF GOD - Paul Block, Robert Vaughan
V: THE ORIGINAL MINISERIES - Kenneth Johnson, A.C. Crispin
FOOLS' EXPERIMENTS - Edward M. Lerner
THE PRINCE OF FROGS - Annaliese Evans
NECROSCOPE - Brian Lumley
BAUCHELAIN AND KORBAL BROACH - Steven Erikson
THE RETURN OF THE BLACK COMPANY - Glen Cook
CHILD OF FIRE - Harry Connolly
GRAND JUNCTION - Maurice G. Dantec
IRON MAN: FEMMES FATALES - Robert Greenberger
INDIANA JONES AND THE ARMY OF THE DEAD - Steve Perry
DRAGON EYE 8 - kairi Fujiyama
GAKUEN PRINCE 3 - Jun Yuzuki
MOYASIMON 1 - Masayuki Ishikawa
NEGIMA? NEO 3 - Ken Akamatsu
ORANGE PLANET 2 - Haruka Fukushima
SCHOOL RUMBLE 13 - Jin Kobayashi
SHUGO CHARA! 7 - Peach-Pit
THE WALLFLOWER 21 - Tomoku Hayakawa
YOZAKURA QUARTET 5 - Suzuhito Yasuda
GACHA GACHA: THE NEXT REVOLUTION VOL. 10 - Hiroyuki Tamakoshi
FLEDGLING - Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
THE SERRANO SUCCESSION - Elizabeth Moon
THE STONEHOLDING - James G. Anderson, Marc Sebanc
THE LAST CENTURION - John Ringo
PATRIOTS - David Drake
EXILE AND GLORY - Jerry Pournelle
VERY HARD CHOICES - Spider Robinson
Science Fiction - Penguin Group(USA)
Science Fiction and Fantasy at HarperCollins Publishers
Bantam Dell Publishing Group
Random House, Inc: Science Fiction and Fantasy
Jason Lane -- Recycled Steel Sculpture:
"My latest project is a 4x4 mechanical sound sculpture, commissioned by Walk the plank. It was part of The Blackpool Illuminated Art Car Parade in October and will be traveling to Newcastle for the New Year's Eve Festival of Light celebrations.
For more information go to
or see it on You Tube http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=5ICRtyjCNkg
I am also currently working on a series of birds sculpted from reclaimed steel for the 'St Pauls gateway' project in Bristol. Due to be completed early 2008."
Movie & TV Buzz
2009.09.04 2009.09.09 2009.09.11 2009.09.18 2009.09.25
NOTICE: For the time being we will be discontinuing FICTION CORNER
Conventions for January 2009:
2009.09.04-07 THE TURTLE MOVES! Phoenix, AZ
2009.09.04-07 DRAGON*CON Atlanta, GA
2009.09.25-27 GAMECON MEMPHIS Memphis, TN
Your favourite convention not listed here?
go to O*W*C Resources Conventions Calendar for more!
SPACE BABEL - The latest in Science, NASA and Other Agencies
Exploration plan doesn't fit in current budget, panel says
BY WILLIAM HARWOOD, CBS NEWS "SPACE PLACE"
A presidential panel wrapping up a review of options for future U.S. manned space flight operations delivered a grim assessment today, showing NASA's current plan to retire the shuttle, finish the space station and return to the moon by the early 2020s is not even remotely feasible without a significant restoration of previously cut funding.
In the absence of a major spending increase, "our view is that it will be difficult with the current budget to do anything that's terribly inspiring in the human spaceflight area," said Norman Augustine, chairman of the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee.
Mars, methane and mysteries
EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY NEWS RELEASE
Mars may not be as dormant as scientists once thought. The 2004 discovery of methane means that either there is life on Mars, or that volcanic activity continues to generate heat below the martian surface. ESA plans to find out which it is. Either outcome is big news for a planet once thought to be biologically and geologically inactive.
Life's building block discovered in comet dust
NASA NEWS RELEASE
PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.
"Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins, and this is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet," said Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. "Our discovery supports the theory that some of life's ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and comet impacts."
Eastern Himalayas reveals abundance of new species
- Over 350 new species discovered by ten year project in Eastern Himalayas
- World's smallest deer and a "flying frog" among the animals found
- Region studied by WWF report covered Nepal, China, Myanmar, Bhutan, India
Study: Global warming sparked by ancient farming methods
- Study: Ancient people were fewer in number, but burned 10 times as much land
- William Ruddiman: People would slash, burn "five times in a 20 year period"
- Ken Caldeira, a climate scientist, says study exaggerating impact of early man
Scientists study 'garbage patch' in Pacific Ocean
- Researchers are trying to learn the effects of the plastic and debris on wildlife
- Experts from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography will spend three weeks at sea
- Scientists say this sea-bound trash zone is largest among worldwide debris fields
- Researchers believe this enormous trash zone accumulated over many years
And, of course, don't forget to check out our very own Blog:
A short break from gravity
I just loved this cartoon from XKCD:
Hook in the Book
Warm morning light fell from sun globes suspended high above Main Street, Crescent Station. The bazaar buzzed with activity as residents of the station went to and fro on their Saturday morning errands. Some shopped at rickety stands of metal and fake wood, examining fruit and vegetables with discriminating interest. Squealing girls stepped out of fashion booths, showing off potential purchases to their friends. Merchants shouted the merits of their goods, each seller trying to out-yell the next. A sidewalk cafe bustled with waitstaff ferrying out omelets and coffee to hungry patrons. A pub was across the busy causeway from the cafe, and the raucous sounds of a televised sporting event drifted through its metal batwing doors.
"This is boring," Brian said as he tossed a few empty aluminum cans at the big black collector robot's feet. The machine looked foolish when it bent over to snatch up the scattered drinking containers. Its multiple arms whirred and clicked as they swept down and came back up with Brian's trash, then crushed each can and placed it into the bin on the robot's back. "I'm sick of playing with the bots, Will. We've been doing it all morning long." Brian ran a hand through the mess of red hair atop his head.
Yeah, I know I started out really "techie" this month. Sometimes, I just can't help myself.
This month, I tried the upgrade to Snow Leopard on my iMac. The upgrade really did work, but there were minor glitches in the way it worked. Snow Leopard doesn't recognize my second monitor properly, so I couldn't get the resolution right. Stickies couldn't remember they were scattered about over two monitors. And a couple of my automator scripts didn't work in quite the same way as they did using Leopard. None of this means a lot to our readers, other than knowing it really played havoc with my work processes.
In the meantime, one of my clients called me in a major panic. Her computer quit working, and her thesis hadn't been printed, yet.
Both issues were resolved quickly. My clients have been trained well. I don't quite beat them over the head with external backup drives, but they do know it's of major importance to backup their 'puters regularly. The thesis was on a backup done just the day before. It's simpple to transfer the file from that backup to another 'puter. And I had duplicate bootable backups of my iMac; I simply booted to the external drive and restored the system I had been running the day before. Work processes are back to normal, and I can wait for the updated driver to be issued before I try the upgrade again.
So, I repeat: Backup...BackUp...BACKUP!
To receive this newsletter by mail, use our Subscription Form.