January 7th, 2009

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Down to eight...

Hmm. Looking at my Arisia schedule, I see that one of my panels has vanished. That's okay: it was the 10pm Sunday panel, which I thought was a bit dicey to begin with (I gave it better than even odds of simply failing), and losing that makes my day look less crazy. (Still six panels, but ending at 8pm rather than 11pm.)

That said, it does seem like the concom needs to improve its communication a bit. The only reason I found out about the change was that a friend of mine mentioned that *her* schedule had changed significantly with no notification, so I decided to take a look. Making changes isn't necessarily a bad thing (in my case, it was precisely the alteration I would have preferred anyway), but folks' expectations got set by the original notice of "these are your panels", so I think there's a danger of people being badly surprised here...
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LJArchive

Thanks to tpau for pointing out the layoffs at LiveJournal. If this article is to be believed, it's probably not the end of the world -- everybody's laying off right now, and I can't say I'm entirely astonished that LJ is consolidating. But it's a good reminder that backing up one's journal is a good idea, just in case.

Thanks also to her for the pointer to ljArchive, a tool for doing exactly that. It's not a panacea -- it's .NET-based, so mainly intended for Windows, and I gather from its LJ community that some users have had reliability issues with it. But I found it quite nice: easy to install, easy to use, and quick. It took just a few minutes to get it up and running, and just a few more to download my entire journal (about 1800 entries and 14000 comments, so that's nicely efficient). It's open-source freeware, and even comes with a reasonably good viewer for reading and searching your journal. In fact, the search functionality is so fast that it may be the easiest way to look up old entries.

So I'd strongly recommend to Windows users that, if you don't already have a solution in place, it's worth downloading ljArchive and backing up your journal. I put the odds of LJ collapsing fairly low still, but it's always better to be prepared...
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Okay, admittedly this is just my problem...

... but this business of renaming Estrella Security "the Watch", with the explicit responsibility to make sure that "site rules and SCA policy are being observed", synergizes *very* unfortunately with the fact that I'm right in the middle of the NightWatch arc of Babylon 5 right now...