Archives

these issues have been documented on support forums for years, idk why Dell hasn’t patched them

Sunday: ran a standard Windows 10 update

Monday: discovered the camera had disappeared. Again. (Error code 0xa00f4244.)

Also, after months of good behavior, the machine started unpredictably rebooting to a diagnostic that ended on this screen. Again.

Tuesday: surrendered to the constant reminders and upgraded to Windows 11. Everything looks a little weird (suddenly all the corners are round?), but nothing new is broken. Paint Shop Pro still works. Had to install new drivers for my Epson scanner, but once it had them, it was happy.

Still no camera, though.

Wednesday: rebooted into the BIOS to find out if the “Integrated Camera” option had gotten un-checked. Nope, it was fine. Booted back to Windows without changing a single option — it specifically asked “do you want to save changes” and I said no.

…and now the camera works?

It seems, uh. Deeply improbable that “just look at the BIOS options without editing anything” would suddenly reawaken the hardware, after no amount of reboots/updates/scans/troubleshooters could find it. But if my camera goes foom again from the next update, this is the first thing I’m trying.

Spurred by the success, I took another crack at the google results for “Hardware scan complete with no issues” and found a solution that involves turning off permissions for the fingerprint reader.

My laptop doesn’t have a fingerprint reader.

But Device Manager had a “Fingerprint Reader” entry, which sure thought it was giving permissions to something.

They’re off now. Guess we’ll find out if it works eventually.

…speaking of things where I’m waiting to see if they’ll be fixed, Kickstarter just decided to present a gift-wrapped selling point to all their competitors. Glad I don’t have any new campaigns scheduled until late 2022 — if things don’t get better, I may need the time to comparison-shop the rest.

Deciding the internet doesn’t need a public log of everything I posted all the way back to high school

A friend recently batch-locked a bunch of their older posts — not inspired by any specific bit of harassment, just a general feeling of being Too Exposed On The Internet — and it got me itching to do the same.

I mean, good grief, I’ve had a WordPress blog since 2008, and a Dreamwidth journal since 2009 — which includes crossposted entries from Livejournal dating all the way back to 2003.

There’s not any specific bit of Youthful Miscreance, either, that I’m afraid some bad actor will dig out and then blow up on Twitter…but I’m not gonna sit down and comb through it all to double-check, you know?

WordPress makes it pretty easy to select large batches of posts and mass-edit the settings. (“Friends only” isn’t an option here, just Public or Private.) There’s probably a paid way to make it even easier, but the free way served me well enough.

I set everything pre-2020 (slightly over a thousand updates) to Private, then batch-unlocked stuff from certain categories. Mostly all those music recs posts I did, and the Burns & Allen transcripts I want to keep available as a resource for other fans. A couple of reaction posts to different books/TV. A couple of cat posts.

Dreamwidth lets you mass-access-change all the posts in a certain date range…if you have a paid account. They’re also doing their December end-of-year sale. So I figured it was the right time to pick one up.

I set every post before 2020 (also just over a thousand — mostly crossposted between there and WP, but not all) to Access List Only. Unlocking sub-selections of posts is a more tedious process there, so I only did it for the few that I definitely want to keep available for total strangers — that is, every older post in the “Yuletide” tag, and, again, a few cute posts in the “cats” tag.

Anything else I said, in any of those posts, that’s still important and valuable for people to read in the 2020’s…I’ll just have to say it again in the 2020’s.

Erin (Re)Watches: Boston Legal, Rebuild of Evangelion, the bluescreen of a misbehaving laptop

Started rewatching Boston Legal for my comics-making background TV, and all the B-roll of streets and buildings is making me really nostalgic for Boston.

…but definitely *not* nostalgic for the 2000’s. The level of Cultural Discourse we were wading through, holy cats.

One standout: mall Santa gets fired when a kid says “Santa please make me normal, I like wearing girl clothes,” and Santa says “nothing wrong with that, so do I.”

And the baseline defense is “look, it’s not like he would tell EVERY kid he crossdresses! This was a special case!”

Instead of “oh ffs why *not* tell everyone? These are regular street clothes. Women wear them all the time. Every child in this boy’s class should be told that, hey, some men wear them too — maybe even Santa! — and there’s nothing wrong with that.”


After almost a whole month of good behavior — and precisely 3 days after the original service contract expired — New Computer did the thing again on Saturday.

And then yesterday, I woke up to find it back on its old “doing the thing on Thursdays” schedule.

(Checked the update history — as I expected, there isn’t anything new corresponding to either restart.)

Is this just going to be a Technically Harmless But Still A Huge Nuisance feature of New Computer for the rest of its operational life? Signs point to “ughhhh.”


After rewatching the first three Rebuild of Evangelion movies, I finally got to the fourth one today.

The animation is stunning. Not just the wild mecha battles, but the startlingly natural detail in tiny motions like “Shinji throws his SDAT player and it goes skittering across the ground”. And the backgrounds — they have this low-key showing-off trick where they’ll come up with a lushly detailed set, then draw it at a dozen different long-shot angles, so they have to do a new full painting every time.

Also, we spend like 40 minutes in an idyllic little farm town that’s been cultivated and defended against the post-Impact wasteland, where they apparently got Studio Ghibli to collaborate. It absolutely paid off.

How much can I talk about the plot at this point? I haven’t run into a single unmarked spoiler in the wild…which suggests that either the early viewers are being extra-conscientious, or that most people haven’t gone to the effort to see it yet.

In general:

It’s wild and twisty, but, you know, in on-brand-for-Eva ways. There’s some setup that doesn’t pay off, some payoffs that weren’t really set up, but each chunk ranges from “competent” to “deeply satisfying.”

There were characters who got to be so happy that you figured they definitely wouldn’t make it through an Eva film alive (did I mention there are people living in a Ghibli village??). A surprising amount of them pull it off anyway. Sometimes the TV-series lore gets punted off into space. Other times, they go so hard with the callbacks, the original titles are literally flashing on screen.

I will spoil this: the penguins are okay. This movie knows which questions are really essential to answer, and it delivers.

Who’s got two thumbs and can do Zoom calls normally again?

I gave New Computer another update — this time making a point of backing up a bunch of stuff, just in case I had to do another reinstall from scratch.

Not only did the process go fine, the camera works again!

(This update was only released a couple weeks ago, and the camera-breaking update was a couple months ago, so it’s not like I could’ve just done that from the start. Someone on the development end had to fix what they broke.)

…so, ah, fingers crossed that it’ll fix the other weird problem, where the computer spontaneously decides it wants to reboot into a diagnostic scan. Which always finds no problems, just like all the previous scans.

Plot twist: I paid more attention to when these happen, and the last 3 times were on Thursday afternoon. So this past Thursday morning, I shut down the computer completely, then headed out to work.

I get home, and it’s on this screen again. Something in here didn’t just reboot the OS, it autonomously powered the machine on.

I mean. What even does that?

The camera-fixing update was later that evening, so I guess we’ll find out “did it also fix the spontaneous diagnostics?” next Thursday.


Had an extensive dream that was an AU of The Secret Garden, but Mary Lennox was a tween necromancer, Gideon the Ninth style.

…and now that I think about it, the parallels are there? Not to Harrow, I mean to Gideon’s backstory of “was a small child when a fatal affliction swept through the whole group around her, later retrieved after being discovered surrounded by bodies.”

Maybe I’ll request it for Yuletide, or something.


It’s that magical time of year when I put Kickstarter logos in all my social-media icons, re-re-proofread all my ad copy, and anxiously look up how much it costs to ship a 5-pound box to Germany.

(Just over US $70.)

That’s right, it’s the final-week prep for Leif & Thorn volume 4.

Please click that link and hit the “Notify me on launch” button, if you haven’t already!

And folks, I am so close to the weight where, if someone wants All The Leif & Thorn Books, the cheapest method is to pack them in a Flat Rate box. 4 books isn’t quite there — but at 5 books the flat rate is cheaper, and at 6 it’ll be much cheaper, and once we get up to 9 it’ll be astronomically cheaper.

…when we get to 10, they won’t all fit in a single box. But that’s a future problem.

(Not that I’m going to do this, but: there would be something really satisfying about drawing enough to fill 9 books, and then stopping the comic, just so it’s a perfect fit for the boxes.)

Aaaaand spoke too soon

Made a post last night about how I think the computer is okay, came home from work this afternoon to find it did this again. I know, I know, I jinxed it.

Dell Diagnostics hardware scan

No issues found! You didn’t find any issues the last four times, either! Why do you keep doing this.

Gaaaah. Should I even try to do a full reinstall? Contact Dell customer service and sit through however many hours of troubleshooting they’d want to do? Or just give up and live like this?


…and, in a completely unrelated bonus vent:

Chris Chan, long-time Webcomic Person and generally infamous Internet Personality, has been trending on Twitter for a bit. For entirely horrible reasons. If you don’t want to read about elder abuse and mental illness, don’t go digging.

But given that she has like a 20-year history of being egged/goaded/manipulated by trolls into doing awful things for their entertainment…my first thought on hearing bad news about her is “wonder which sociopath talked her into thinking this was ok.”

(For anyone who wants receipts, there’s a comprehensive documentary series on YouTube that goes through the trolling in detail. And by “comprehensive” I mean “59 parts so far, each about 40 minutes long, and it’s only caught up through 2017.” The creator just put it on hiatus, because they don’t want to seem like they’re taking advantage of a terrible situation for hits — which is a principled move, good for them — but here I am linking to the back catalog anyway.)

Seriously, in a better healthcare system Chris would’ve been taken into some kind of professional care at least a decade ago, for her own safety. Let alone anyone else’s.

And I hate how sure I am that the instigators are never gonna see any consequences ever.