16 Dec 2015


Hail readers!

A number of changes have occurred in the blog since I last wrote on matters of philosophy. For one, there’s a new gadget on the side—it’s called ‘Featured Posts’ and it contains my most popular and/or well-regarded pieces written recently. The second addition is one of a new page: it’s called ‘Services’ and indeed, it concerns the paid services I have begun to offer.

I shan’t speak too much on this, except to say that—for a reasonable price—I will format and typeset any Word or LibreOffice document to either an eBook (available formats include EPUB, AZW3 and MOBI), a print-ready PDF, or both. If you’re interested, take a look.

You may be wondering why I’m doing this. Won’t it take up my time, you wonder? Well, fear not: I shan’t be taking too many projects on at once. And, to be frank, I do wish to make my own money.

Anyway: let’s leave such matters aside. Instead, we’ll focus on a few of my musings.

The Ark

Alas, I have not written a great deal more on the Ark since I last updated you. Currently, I am on Chapter Fourteen; I have a number of important plot elements coming up, and I feel a little… gridlocked. Such is the nature of writing.

Fortunately, I have just entered the winter holidays! This will, as you can imagine, give me a significant amount of time with which to play with—and first on the agenda is more work on the Ark. I shall be writing more of my experiences in creating it; and—there may be a sneak peek of some of the chapters.

On top of this, I am looking for some more beta-readers. Although one beta-reader—the mysterious Peter—has been quite helpful, there is nevertheless strength in numbers. There’s also good sense in having multiple opinions. So: if you do want to beta-read, email me at alexstargazerwriterextraordinaire AT outlook DOT com.

On a more tangential note, here’s a link to one of the songs I’ve found evocative of the Ark: Sunrise.


Recently, I have upgraded my hardware through the installation of an SSD. On top of this, I have installed Ubuntu—the OS I recommend for all things writer-related. This has not been without difficulty, however. I struggled with a third-party driver for my USB wifi dongle; eventually, I figured to connect an ethernet cable from my wireless extender to my PC.

This solved most of my problems. The nVidia driver for my graphics card is the proprietary blob, and works well. I’ve even taken a liking to a particular game: SuperTuxKart. It is essentially a Linux-flavoured Mariokart. It’s rather good fun; but it’s also surprisingly taxing on my graphics card. Perhaps another upgrade is in order.

Besides that, I am trying to figure out which desktop environment works best for me. Unity, the default, is actually quite alright; it is aesthetically pleasing, reasonably customisable, and has some nice features like the Heads-Up Display. Nonetheless, I am not content. I don’t like its implementation of virtual workspaces, which are meant to aid multitasking when one has a large number of applications running.

I find Unity’s version problematic because it does not actually remove applications from the launcher (left), which therefore defeats the primary function of virtual workspaces.

I have tried Cinnamon, a more traditional interface, but it experiences a strange graphical bug that results in blurriness outside the mouse. Thus, I am now going to try Gnome.

Anyway: enough about this.


Since my usual politics piece was ditched in favour of a philosophy piece (on the basis of reader feedback), I’ve decided to write a little bit more on—you guessed it—Jeremy Corbyn. This will likely be my next post. I will address a few issues, chief among them: his ‘electability’ and analysis on various miss-steps and successes; his relationship with the media; and his chances of winning 2020.

Well, that about sums things up. I’ll be back soon—I do have a holiday...

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