Category: Announcements

Star Trek: Discovery

I’ve been watching the Star Trek: Discovery recently, and, as someone who’s watched every episode of every incarnation of Star Trek, re-watching all previous entries within the past couple of years, I can say without a doubt that it’s quite enjoyable. It’s not without it’s issues though, but, as the saying goes, the worst Trek is better than most other shows πŸ˜‰

Even to a casual fan, it’s obvious that canon is cannon fodder for this particular entry. I’ve not just talking about how difficult it is to tell which timeline/universe this series takes place in, I’m taking about obvious quirks like using holodecks and replicators before they existed in any previous universe/timeline. Also, while I have no problem with the new appearance they gave the Klingons, I feel like they did it just to mess with die-hard fans.

Speaking of timelines/universes, I lost track of things pretty much when DS9 started going to that well a bit too often. And this series has already started down that road. I hope they don’t stray from whatever their main timeline/universe is too often, even if it’s one that’s not previously established, because it gets tedious, repetitive, and, dare I say, boring. And nothing is worse that boring Trek, because that leads to series cancellation. And, again, the worst Trek is better than most other shows.

Nerd Block

My wife and I were both fans of Nerd Block up until they went out of business. My wife frequently purchased their horror blocks, and after picking up a ton of SciFi blocks, I finally purchased a year’s subscription. A few months in, Nerd Block went bankrupt. Now, they have new owners and put out a release via email and their Facebook page, but they neglected to address both the individual blocks that people paid for, and the longer-term subscriptions that were paid for. So I emailed them, as I’m sure many others did as well, as I received what appears to be a boilerplate reply which addresses those still owed merchandise from the old Nerd Block:

Hey Rod,

We want to begin by thanking you for sharing your experiences with us. We’ve read each and every comment and gathered much-needed feedback. This is helping us better understand how we can move forward.

We want to reiterate that we are a brand new Company under completely new ownership so we are learning about your previous experiences with Nerd Block from this feedback.

Some of you raised concerns as subscribers who did not receive blocks you had either purchased or subscribed to. We do understand how you were let down by the bankruptcy of the old Nerd block. We can’t change the past. We are unable to ship any blocks you may have purchased previously as these blocks simply do not exist. We are however developing other ways of making this as right as we can. The new Nerd Block team is working hard to earn your trust and will offer other solutions and products that transform your experience with Nerd Block to a positive one.

Today we would like to confirm that, as suggested by you, we are working on a plan to provide a credit against future purchase to those who never received their blocks. That credit will likely be able to be used to purchase any future Nerd Block products. A longer announcement of other exciting products and product partners will be going out later this month. We have a few logistical details to work through and will be updating you all about the process soon.

There were, of course, additional questions that were posed to us, so we’d like to address a number of them here:

Q) Will I be able to access my old Nerd Block account or will I need to re-register?

A) When Nerd Block re-launches you will be able to access your existing account using your current username and password – or if you wish, reset your password.

Q) When will you start shipping new Blocks and/or products?

A) We will be revealing plans for new Blocks, exclusive products, and content plans within the coming weeks.

Q) Will you be creating a new Horror Block?

A) We are talking with our partners about this very topic and hope to have some news to share within the coming weeks.

Q) What do you mean when you talk about β€œcontent” alongside products and Blocks?

A) One of the exciting things about collaborating with our new partners is that we gain access to their archives. Interviews with directors or artists, unseen artwork, designs and plans are just some of the exclusive content that Nerd Block customers will have access to.

Q) Am I still subscribed to any Blocks?

A) You are no longer subscribed to any Blocks and you will not be charged.

Q) Am I still being charged for any subscriptions?

A) No, you are not and will not be billed for any old subscriptions.

Q) What about my credit card information?

A) The new owners of Nerd Block do not have any of your credit cards details. As mentioned previously the old company did not hold your credit card information or give out your credit card information. Any new products or services purchased will require the user to make a completely new transaction, re-entering all purchasing, billing and shipping information.

Q) You mentioned that the new Nerd Block is now an American Company. Does this mean that you are not shipping to Canada / the UK / Internationally?

A) We will ship internationally, in accordance with any international shipping laws. Being an American company does not mean that we are only shipping to the US.

As the new owners of Nerd Block, we ask that you continue to share your experiences and to provide us with as many suggestions as possible so that we can make the re-launch of Nerd Block something that everyone can be proud of. We have some very exciting programs and partnerships to announce shortly so please stay tuned.

Thanks!

Team Nerd Block

Now, they mention making things right by potentially providing credit towards new merchandise, which is all fine and dandy. But I will NOT throw good money after bad if that credit requires additional purchase or anything additional out of my pocket. The only way they new Nerd Block will get a dime from me is AFTER they have earned my trust by making things right. I completely understand that this is completely new ownership, but you don’t buy a company which pissed its reputation away and not expect everyone to remember what happened the last time they gave a company called “Nerd Block” their hard-earned money.

Linux on Notebook

I have been a bit hesitant to install Linux on my work notebook, but I finally bit the bullet and installed Linux Mint along side the Windows 8.1 install, and have managed to get Citrix Receiver running under Chromium. I was initially getting an error about a missing file (but it worked in Firefox), and a bit of Googling led me to these instructions which worked like a charm. I’ve got gigs worth of files on my Windows partition, but now I can start moving them over and eventually get rid of Windows completely πŸ™‚

A note about distro choice: I’m not a huge fan of Ubuntu since the switch to Unity, but Linux Mint is known to work with Secure Boot and UEFI. So I chose the MATE desktop, as it’s more-or-less a continuation of the old Gnome 2 desktop.

Anomalies

My site gets minimal views. Since adding the crossposring to social media sites, I get a few more visits when I post from people occasionally clicking through. And by minimal, I’m talking 1 or 2 visits a day, average. Yesterday, with no posts in over a week, I got 40 visits. One old post, in particular, got 15 views. What the hell is going on? I wonder if Google Anylitics has fixed their referrer spam issue, so would it be helpful to try to see where the traffic is suddenly from? This also happened a few months back. Strange…

That lasted a long time…

Like the title says,that lasted a long time, didn’t it? And by “that,” I mean keeping to a posting schedule πŸ˜‰ That’s OK, though, as part of the issue is just being busier at work. It took me a moment to adjust. Also, I need to get some other projects underway, and as I do, I’ll have more content to post as well πŸ™‚

Spending less time on Facebook

I’m continuing with my first goal of 2018 of posting more ofen by adding a quick note about spending less time on Facebook. This one is easy, as we spent last weekend moving again, so I haven’t had much time for Facebook to begin with πŸ˜‰ But I do find that when I do have time, I’m not aimlessly wandering. The time I spend on Facebook is spent checking in on specific groups that I’m in and not just mindlessly scrolling.

Last Friday, I posted my goals for 2018, and the first goal was to post more often. Since this is a casual, personal blog, I’ve never really stuck to any posting schedule that I’ve set, so I’m a little hesitant to set a specific schedule, but I’m thinking I can hit once a week, at least most weeks. Some weeks I may hit more, and occasionally I may miss that meager goal completely, but if I hit more often than not, then my first goal of 2018 will be met.

As for schedule, I’m thinking about scheduling posts to go live sometime Friday morning. This gives me all week to work on the post, so hopefully things will seem a bit more polished than in the past as well πŸ™‚

Happy New Years! It seems like this might be a good time to share some of my goals for 2018, both for the blog, and personally.

  1. Post more often
  2. Move blog hosting to a server I have more control over
  3. Develop another web property that I own
  4. Spend less time on Facebook
  5. Read more
  6. Write more
  7. Lose some weight
  8. Drink less soda
  9. Move the last of my laptops to Linux
  10. Bring back up my BBS
  11. Settle in to the house we moved into
  12. Finish some of my retro-computing project

I’ll be posting more about each one of these, and possibly adding to the list, in the coming days and weeks, thus fulfilling the first item on the list πŸ˜‰ What are your goals for 2018?

Interesting analytics

I don’t even look at Google Analytics any more, as it became so inundated with referral spam that it was essentially useless. But I do have the site connected to WordPress.com via Jetpack, and it provides some stats in the admin dashboard that I find rather interesting.

The site seems to get a hit or two most days, then will go a couple of days with no hits. Then it goes back to several days in a row with only one or two hits. But for some reason, November 29 saw 44 hits. I have no idea if these hits are people or bots, but I just found it interesting.

What I really need to do is move the site onto my own server so I have complete control of logging, then I’ll be able to investigate these anomalies a little more than I’m currently able.