April 4th, 2005

gericault_the raft of the medusa 2


Tonight, I discovered that the once-splendid and extensive collection of art at Webshots has almost all vanished. About all that remains is this set of albums containing about 500 paintings. Even in that assortment I noticed that some large images once posted by that user have been replaced by smaller files, some of which contain digital logos of the museums which "own" the works depicted.

These are not recent paintings that have been so reduced and defaced. Most date from the 19th century. I'm not sure why the hundreds of albums, most of which once contained dozens of pictures, have been obliterated, but I suspect that it might be the result of the ever-expanding American copyright laws, which threaten to engulf the whole history of art and literature. The elite institutions (many of them wallowing in public funds), whose overseers fancy themselves the protectors of all that is threatened by the rabble, have long been among the worst offenders when it comes to sealing off bits of our common heritage. I fear that they will continue their depredations. Fie on the museums, and on the Colleges and Universities which provide them with an endless supply of aparatchiks more impressed by themselves and their exalted positions than with their supposed mission of serving art and its public. I wonder how long it will be before they come after my LJ icons?

End of rantlet.

I finally got the keyboard working, and connected the machine to the Internet. It's napping now, and Sluggo gets to make at least this entry. The night is remarkably cold, so he is behaving himself. The new machine came loaded with various pieces of software, including a copy of Netscape. Netscape is still a bit clunky. I used it to download a copy of the latest version of Opera, which I will install tomorrow. Then I will probably use Opera to download Firefox. It looks as though I'll be keeping the machine, despite the cables that snake from the front of the monitor, and other irritations. Sending it back would cause too much delay. The cold weather won't last forever.

I feel tired tonight, because I was awakened too early yesterday. The noise of the air conditioner woke me up. I think that my dad (who continues to be rather unsteady on his feet) might have grabbed at the thermostat to right himself as he doddered down the hall, and flipped the switch from "heat" to "cool" without realizing it. By the time I woke up, the house had been cooled to a fresh 64 degrees. He didn't notice. Nonagenarians don't have the firmest grip on reality.

To sleep.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

On Not Being Enough of a Geek

I'm using the new device, because Sluggo has already crashed for the evening. I'm also using Netscape (which makes LJ's BML pages look almost as bad as they do in Internet Exploder), as the new device won't let me install Opera- or any other program, apparently. It didn't even offer me the option of installing it from the file I downloaded last night, so I made a CD copy of the file and tried to install from that, but Windows couldn't find the install program on the CD. Weird. I never had that problem with Windows 98. Windows XP seems an even crankier system, so far. I thought that later versions of programs were supposed to be easier to use. I guess that isn't the case with Micro$oft's products.

This Logitech keyboard is a bit weird, to. It has this tiny little space bar, with alt keys right next to it at either side, and I keep hitting the one on the right when I go to hit the space bar, which slows everything down. Adjusting to new devices is not fun. I'll try to figure out what is preventing the machine from installing Opera, but I'm not particularly optimistic about the prospects. I haven't set up e-mail on this machine yet, either, so I still have to fire up Sluggo to fetch it. I'll leave the windows open and maybe he'll cool off enough by midnight. I also haven't uploaded an LJ client yet. There's no point, until I can figure out how to get this thing to accept programs that didn't come pre-loaded on it. Feh. Computers.

The day turned somewhat more springy than I expected, the morning overcast having thinned to a few scattered clouds by afternoon. I would have liked to spent more of that afternoon outdoors, but I was dealing with this machine. Now it's almost dark. Oops. I forgot that it's trash night. I have to go take it out now. The computers can stay, though- for the time being.