The Venusian Gambit – Advance Reading Copy

Front Cover The Venusian Gambit by Michael J Martinez.  That's an actual printed red dot, not a sticker
Front Cover: The Venusian Gambit by Michael J Martinez. That’s an actual printed red dot, not a sticker
Haha! I are being an Advance reader! I knew that 600 SAT Verbal counted for sumtin.

Ok, I keed, I keed.

Through the generosity of author extraordinaire, Michael J. Martinez; myself and Margo-Lea Hurwicz each won an Advance Reading Copy of his upcoming novel, The Venusian Gambit, complete with autograph 😀 .

The Venusian Gambit by Michael J Martinez, complete with autograph
The Venusian Gambit by Michael J Martinez, complete with autograph 😀

Gambit represents the third and final chapter of the Daedalus series which chronicles the intertwined cross-dimensional adventures of Thomas Weatherby of His Majesty’s 18th/19th century Royal Navy and Shaila Jain of the 22nd century Joint Space Command.

The completed version hits shelves on May 5, 2015!

Back cover, The Venusian Gambit by Michael J Martinez
Back cover: The Venusian Gambit by Michael J Martinez

Scrivener comparison: Dropbox vs OneDrive

Dropbox vs. OneDrive smiley_abxe

I recently upgraded my laptop’s hard drive, swapping out the stock 5400rpm spinner for an SSD. Despite the 3Gb SATA motherboard connection, vs the SSD’s own 6Gb SATA capability, the new setup flies in the Dell 3531.

About a 30% improvement in battery life too, quite noticeable.

What does this have to do with Scrivener? Like most I’m sure, I use a cloud synced project file between two computers.

New hard drive means reinstalling the operating system, Windows 8.1 in this case. It’s kind of grown on me, enough to bide my time for the free Windows 10 upgrade. (Win 7 still my fave so far :D)

So let’s get to it, Dropbox vs. OneDrive:

– Both are cloud based and save files locally on the computer, in a folder, just like all Window’s users know. There’s an important OneDrive setting concerning Windows 8.1 but we’ll ignore it and you’ll see why.

– Both are cloud synced. A change to a file on Computer 1 will migrate to all other computers housing that same file, under the same profile/login.

Here’s where it detonates, specifically with Windows 8.1, and, I strongly anticipate, with Windows 10. (this is not actually an issue with Win 7)

You need to LOGIN to your computer with your Live account. It’ll be that info, that profile, that cloud sync across multiple computers.

“Hey, all that sounds great, what’s your malfunction dude?”

Simple, the damn re-install absolutely REFUSED to accept the correct password, insisting that it was wrong. So what did I do? On another computer I logged into my Live account, using the password the login kept rejecting, to change the password. Done.

Does it accept the new password? Nope. I even created an entirely new Live account as a form of getting past the login stage. Right? Nope.

Oh, new install too, did I mention that? Yeah so there are no other profiles to log in with. You have to restart in Safe Mode, use the root Admin to log in, create a ….. forget it, not germane to this discussion.

But, as you’re guessing, without that PARTICULAR login there is no access to your current OneDrive on Windows 8.1. There is no standalone OneDrive program (like there is for Dropbox), to THEN login. OneDrive is built in to 8.1 and that’s just how it is.

With Windows 7 there IS a OneDrive install and you can use it just like DropBox.

“Well just apply the solution that Microsoft has posted.” Good luck finding it.

There is no solution folks, I looked, and I knew it was terminal when I tried that brand new profile.

You’re probably wondering why it worked with the original install but not the re-install. I still wonder that as well.

Anyway, once I used the Cheater Pipe of Victory to force a new profile into Win 8.1, the same sort of profile one would use with Win 7 and before, I set up Dropbox and migrated my stuff onto it. Even after applying the various Windows updates I haven’t even bothered to try to login again with the Live account. I’m not going to risk losing access to my Scrivener projects, even temporarily.

Dropbox is still set up to have it’s own login, making it entirely independent of the computer profile login.
The second reason is that Scrivener’s forthcoming iOS app syncs through Dropbox.

Those two reasons alone are why Dropbox is better.

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Working Split Screen in Scrivener

I searched around the net for an answer to this one.
I wanted to rewrite a chapter while looking at it, but without changing it.

What? Speak English man.

Basically I wanted to follow along on my old chapter while rewriting the new one.

Working Split Screen in Scrivener
Working Split Screen in Scrivener

If you ever tried to rewrite as you go you know that keeping track of your thoughts gets logarithmically more difficult after the first three sentences are rewritten.
This way I could go split screen and keep the old chapter in front of me (without printing out a copy).
Just hit the Split Screen graphic in the upper right of the active window n’est-ce pas?

Sort of. You end up with two screens of the current chapter. The moment you change something in the right window it shows up on the left window.

That’s when I took to the net. But the answers were wordier than this is getting to be.

The solution is simple.

Duplicate your chapter and rename it by adding OLD to the name.
Just right-click on the chapter, Duplicate, and presto, same chapter. But to Scrivener it is different.
Go back to your split screen. The active window has the chapter name underlined. Click on the title bar of your left window, go down your left hand chapter list and click a chapter. You’ll see the ACTIVE window change to the new chapter, while the other one remains on the other chapter.

That’s it. Click the title bar of the window, go over and click your chapter, click the OTHER window title bar, click the OTHER chapter.

‘Chapter’ and ‘Chapter OLD’ are now next to each other. 😀

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Essentials for your laptop bag

I have three basic groups I carry in my laptop bag; aka My Writing Kit:

Dell 3531 Laptop in its cocoon
Dell 3531 Laptop in its cocoon

1. Computer Group.
The laptop, THIS ONE, and the wall charger. I do plan on adding a spare battery.

2. File Group.
Literally files and perhaps a notebook.

3. Goodies Group.
This is the group we’ll focus on here.

So what does the well stocked laptop bag hold within it’s Goodies Group?
The Comfort Kit.
The Charger Kit.
The Food and Drink Kit.

In the Comfort Kit we have:
* Flents ear plugs, purple. 33db noise reduction on these babies.
* One of those thin fleece caps, for those really cold coffee shops lol. A regular baseball cap should hold in enough heat.
* Nose drops, Afrin regular. Much better than desiccating yourself with allergy pills or the like.
* Pack of tissues.
* Headphones. I just have the latest Apple earbuds and figured out how to (re)pack them in that case they come in.
* First Aid kit. Just a little pocket one which has Ibuprofen and a band-aid. Basically one of THESE, plus one or two Alka-Seltzer Plus in Citrus. I think the Cold and Cough version. I just use it in case of over-eating lol.
* A new blush brush. Yep, you read that right. I use it to clean off the keyboard and the screen.
* A Swiss Army Knife, like the Classic, is useful. Jut remember it’s there when flying. I have a SAK Bantam on my keychain.

The Charger Kit:
* Laptop charger
* Portable battery pack with USB out, at least 1 amp. I still have an Eneloop KBC-L2 pack rated at 5,000mAH. It’s roughly the size of a deck of cards.
* USB cable for iPhone
* Wall charger for iPhone. Naturally it will charge through any USB cable.

The Food and Drink Kit:
Just one or two 16oz water bottle and one or two food bars or Snickers. I also sometimes use a 16oz Pilot’s Flask since they are flat-ish and easier to pack.

It all fits into a Targus laptop bag most similar to THIS ONE. This is the only bag I have right now that accommodates this laptop (the Dell is a full 15 inches wide) and as you can see the interior pockets are empty. I don’t want anything to scratch up the laptop or crack the lid.

Not the perfect bag which is why I’m looking at the Netpack Comp Brief I and the Solo Urban 17 😀

Front flap stuff (and things) in the laptop bag
Front flap stuff (and things) in the laptop bag

Some of the laptop bag  goodies laid out
Some of the laptop bag goodies laid out

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